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Academic papers style guide
Thread poster: Nancy Greenleese

Nancy Greenleese  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 12:10
Member (2013)
Italian to English
+ ...
Jan 7, 2014

What is the most widely followed style guide for academic papers?

When editing documents, I typically adhere to the rules in the AP style guide and the Chicago Manual of Style. But I am wondering if these guidebooks are also relevant for academic papers. For instance, I am editing an academic paper that contains many numbers. The CMOS and AP tell me to write out the numbers one through nine yet I wonder if this holds true for academic papers.

Thank you for your suggestions.

N


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Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:10
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Italian to English
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style guides Jan 7, 2014

Hi, I think it depends on the subject, science subjects differ from history subjects for instance. Why don't you ask the client, or has the text not got the references so you can adhere to the same style? Each style has its advantages/disadvantages. With APA, you have to go back and forth, but is useful for when you write and the referenced words do not count. with the Chicago, you can have loads of references at the bottom, more than text, so that is a disadvantage. People just do not read it. I would consult the client if the text you have been provided with does not have it-you are not going to have to find the reference or explain. I know and have seen and read academic papers in both styles. I do not think it is you who has to decide but the owner/client who knows best which style he/she or his faculty has to use. Hope this helps

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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:10
Member (2008)
Italian to English
My prefs Jan 7, 2014

Nancy Greenleese wrote:

What is the most widely followed style guide for academic papers?

When editing documents, I typically adhere to the rules in the AP style guide and the Chicago Manual of Style. But I am wondering if these guidebooks are also relevant for academic papers. For instance, I am editing an academic paper that contains many numbers. The CMOS and AP tell me to write out the numbers one through nine yet I wonder if this holds true for academic papers.

Thank you for your suggestions.

N


I always ask my Italian clients, who use their own Italian referencing system, if they want me to reorganise their footnotes/endnotes, in the English translation, according to either the Harvard Referencing System or the Chicago Style Guide. Often they have never heard of either, and are not happy about me changing the notes. This is OK by me, since it involves an awful lot of work !

[Edited at 2014-01-07 14:43 GMT]


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Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 19:10
Chinese to English
CMOS is very common Jan 7, 2014

But you should ask what the target journal is. If your client wants to get published in English, you can go to the website of the journal in question and read their style policies.

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Nancy Greenleese  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 12:10
Member (2013)
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
excellent suggestions Jan 7, 2014

I appreciate the suggestions. Each one is helpful.

I am going to start by asking the client in which journal he would like to publish the article and then check out that journal's style.

But I do like Tom's method -- offer to change to a recognized style and see what they say. And cross your fingers that they don't want changes! Then again, making changes is easier these days. I wrote my academic papers when there weren't programs to format footnotes. OK, I'm dating myself....

N


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:10
Member (2008)
Italian to English
And.... Jan 7, 2014

Nancy Greenleese wrote:

I appreciate the suggestions. Each one is helpful.

I am going to start by asking the client in which journal he would like to publish the article and then check out that journal's style.

But I do like Tom's method -- offer to change to a recognized style and see what they say. And cross your fingers that they don't want changes! Then again, making changes is easier these days. I wrote my academic papers when there weren't programs to format footnotes. OK, I'm dating myself....

N


Nancy

(a) do you know of a programme that will change Italian footnotes into their acceptable English-language equivalents?

(b) what to do about the Italian-language versions of books that were originally published in English? For example "Galbraith, J. K., La società opulenta, p. 317"? If my reader is English-speaking, it would surely be more appropriate to cite "Galbraith, J. K., The Affluent Society" but then what page would it be?

Help ! On more than one occasion I have actually bought the English-language book, found the citation, and entered it correctly in my translation. But I quickly realised that life is too short for that sort of thing !

[Edited at 2014-01-07 15:44 GMT]


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Sarah Elizabeth
Italy
Local time: 12:10
Italian to English
@Tom Jan 7, 2014

Tom in London wrote:
(b) what to do about the Italian-language versions of books that were originally published in English? For example "Galbraith, J. K., La società opulenta, p. 317"? If my reader is English-speaking, it would surely be more appropriate to cite "Galbraith, J. K., The Affluent Society" but then what page would it be?

Help ! On more than one occasion I have actually bought the English-language book, found the citation, and entered it correctly in my translation. But I quickly realised that life is too short for that sort of thing !

[Edited at 2014-01-07 15:44 GMT]


Hi Tom,

Have you tried Google Books? Whenever I come across a quote taken from an English text that has been translated into Italian, rather than 'back translate' I use Google Books to find the original English text and page number, so that I can use the published English and the correct English citation.

I realise that you are talking about bibliographic citations, not quotes, but since I have had a lot of success over the last few years using Google Books to find both quotes and page numbers (and I think we work in similar subject areas), I wonder if it might be of use to you, too.

Sarah

Edited to add: sorry to go off topic, Nancy!

In answer to your question, I agree with the others that it depends on the discipline and the journal's style preferences.

Once you find out which journal it is, if you can't access its style guide, you could use JSTOR to look at recent issues of the publication to see how they handle numbers. JSTOR now offers access to individuals.

[Edited at 2014-01-07 16:14 GMT]


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:10
Spanish to English
+ ...
Always check the destination Jan 7, 2014

Nancy Greenleese wrote:
... am going to start by asking the client in which journal he would like to publish the article and then check out that journal's style.


This is what I do too, I think it's the most sensible course of action. I translate and revise/correct a lot of academic and scientific papers prior to publication and always make a point of asking the client each time which journal or publication it is aimed at, as their criteria may differ. For example, some accept only US spellings while others accept both US, UK and even other variant forms. The stipulation about writing certain numbers out in full is another thing that can vary and I have to double check each time that these and similar nitpicking rules are followed to avoid rejection.

PS: I've even seen some journals that ask contributors to avoid using the passive voice whenever possible, presumably because they think it will be too hard for non-native authors to do so correctly. Sigh...

[Edited at 2014-01-07 16:24 GMT]


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:10
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Yes Jan 7, 2014

Sarah Elizabeth wrote:

Tom in London wrote:
(b) what to do about the Italian-language versions of books that were originally published in English? For example "Galbraith, J. K., La società opulenta, p. 317"? If my reader is English-speaking, it would surely be more appropriate to cite "Galbraith, J. K., The Affluent Society" but then what page would it be?

Help ! On more than one occasion I have actually bought the English-language book, found the citation, and entered it correctly in my translation. But I quickly realised that life is too short for that sort of thing !

[Edited at 2014-01-07 15:44 GMT]


Hi Tom,

Have you tried Google Books? Whenever I come across a quote taken from an English text that has been translated into Italian, rather than 'back translate' I use Google Books to find the original English text and page number, so that I can use the published English and the correct English citation.

I realise that you are talking about bibliographic citations, not quotes, but since I have had a lot of success over the last few years using Google Books to find both quotes and page numbers (and I think we work in similar subject areas), I wonder if it might be of use to you, too.

Sarah



Yes, I have often found what I needed in Google Books, but not always - and it can be an arduous task.


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 04:10
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Use the ones you have Jan 7, 2014

The ones you are using are fine for a lot of academic papers. As Phil suggests, if the article is going to be submitted to a journal, check the journal's style guide.

As for your last question: yes, write out the numbers 1-9 when used in the text, for example: "nine participants answered 'no' to this question". Also never start a sentence with a number, for example: "Nine percent of participants....". But do use numbers when used in the context of other numbers, such as in a series or in a comparison.


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Nancy Greenleese  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 12:10
Member (2013)
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Italian footnotes Jan 7, 2014

Tom in London wrote:

(a) do you know of a programme that will change Italian footnotes into their acceptable English-language equivalents?

(b) what to do about the Italian-language versions of books that were originally published in English? For example "Galbraith, J. K., La società opulenta, p. 317"? If my reader is English-speaking, it would surely be more appropriate to cite "Galbraith, J. K., The Affluent Society" but then what page would it be?



Hi Tom,

(a) I don't know of such a programme but it would be very handy. I was referring to programs such as Word that now have footnote options. I remember typing complete pages and not leaving enough space for the footnotes and having to retype the pages.

(b) Your question is valid about the page numbers. You've stumped me. Maybe add 100 pages to adjust for Italian's verbosity? (I must add that I love my adopted language even with its endless number of words!)

N


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Sarah Elizabeth
Italy
Local time: 12:10
Italian to English
limitations of Google Books Jan 7, 2014

Tom in London wrote:
Yes, I have often found what I needed in Google Books, but not always - and it can be an arduous task.


Agreed - in my experience, especially so when it comes to tricking snippet view to give you what you are after!


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Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 19:10
Chinese to English
Get better snippets from Amazon Jan 7, 2014

Sarah Elizabeth wrote:

Tom in London wrote:
Yes, I have often found what I needed in Google Books, but not always - and it can be an arduous task.


Agreed - in my experience, especially so when it comes to tricking snippet view to give you what you are after!


If a book on Amazon has the "look inside" function, you can get better and longer snippets from the whole book there. Google seems to be rather smart at stopping you piecing snippets together, Amazon's engine rather less so. I've reconstructed a number of good quotes off Amazon.


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Sarah Elizabeth
Italy
Local time: 12:10
Italian to English
thanks, Phil... Jan 7, 2014

Phil Hand wrote:

Sarah Elizabeth wrote:

Tom in London wrote:
Yes, I have often found what I needed in Google Books, but not always - and it can be an arduous task.


Agreed - in my experience, especially so when it comes to tricking snippet view to give you what you are after!


If a book on Amazon has the "look inside" function, you can get better and longer snippets from the whole book there. Google seems to be rather smart at stopping you piecing snippets together, Amazon's engine rather less so. I've reconstructed a number of good quotes off Amazon.


...good to know!


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:10
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Now.... Jan 7, 2014

Now if they would only let you copy/paste....

[Edited at 2014-01-07 16:56 GMT]


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