Promises for the Future

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For law review, we have to check footnotes on articles by actual practitioners. These authors are often professors, but are also often skilled practitioners in particular fields. We have to make sure that the cites are in the correct format, and that they (and the quotes) are accurate. Seeing as I hope to be one of these skilled practitioners in the future, I would like to make a set of promises to those students who will eventually be checking my footnotes:

  • I will not cite to the syllabus of a Supreme Court case (similar to the abstract of a scientific article), thereby requiring a student to search the case for the text that supports the proposition I need.
  • I will constantly strive to provide accurate quotations, neither adding nor deleting words.
  • If I alter a quote, I promise to indicate the alterations.
  • I will use proper parentheticals (for example, to indicate where quote within quoted material came from).
  • I will cite every sentence that contains quoted material, and every sentence that indicates something I have learned from another source.
  • I will make some mistakes, no matter all my efforts.

    That last bit isn't a promise so much as a warning. Mistakes will happen. To my brothers and sisters doing the same thing at their law schools: I feel your pain, my people.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mackenzie published on November 21, 2005 7:36 PM.

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