Quotes are self-explanatory

Quoting with footnotes

Direct quotations, indirect quotations, indented quotations, American quotations, German quotations, quoting with footnotes - the subject of quoting is a real labyrinth with many stumbling blocks. Don't worry, you are definitely not the only one who still has a question or two when it comes to quoting with footnotes. With the information on our site you can read again exactly what is important if you want to quote with footnotes, how to mark quotations and what belongs in a source. Then you can devote yourself fully to your arguments and observations again and the correct quoting goes by itself.

Different types of quotes

If you take a text passage verbatim from another source, you must mark it in your work with quotation marks (""). It is immediately clear to the reader that you are adding the thought of another author here in order to underline your own arguments. These types of quotes are called direct quotes because you use them word for word in your work. You can make slight changes to the quote so that the quote fits better into your text, i.e. it fits into your sentence grammatically correct. These, too, do not only have to be marked with footnotes when citing. Everything that you change in the quotation, even if it is only the case or a plural ending, is in square brackets ([]). So you also have the opportunity to add short explanations for a better understanding of the quotation (for example: "that they [the students] make more and more of the same mistakes when quoting and ..."). However, you should be careful not to change or add too much in the quote, as this can negatively affect the readability of your work. So make sure that your chosen quote is largely self-explanatory.

Another type of quotation are indirect quotations or paraphrased quotations. Here you take over a thought from another author and reproduce it in your own words. Although this quotation is not in quotation marks, it must nevertheless be marked as foreign ideas when quoting with footnotes and when quoting in the text.

Quoting with footnotes: citation of the source according to the German way of quoting

There are not only different types of quotations but also different ways of quoting. For example, when quoting in German, the footnote contains information on the original source, while in the case of the American quotation, a short quotation is placed directly in brackets in the text. It is therefore important that you find out in advance which citation method is the most common in your subject.

If you should quote by footnotes, i.e. according to the so-called German citation style, the information does not appear directly in the text. After the quoted text passage - directly or indirectly - there is only a superscript number in your work, which refers to the corresponding footnote with the information on the original source. If you are citing a source for the first time, you have to give a detailed reference. For each subsequent time you refer to the same source, a short code in the footnotes is sufficient. In the bibliography at the end of your thesis, the detailed bibliography will appear again. Here is an example of a long and short version of a citation so that you can better visualize and get an idea of ​​what your footnotes might look like.

Example long:

Ungerer, Friedrich / Pasch, Peter / Lampater, Peter / Hellyer-Jones, Rosemary: Learning English: Basic grammar. Revision. 1st edition. Stuttgart: Klett Verlag, 2005. S. 30f.

Example briefly:

Ungerer et al., 2005, p. 30.

Make sure that you see. Put at the beginning of the reference if it is a paraphrased quote.


see Ungerer et al., 2005, p.30.

If you keep these tips in mind, nothing can go wrong with quoting with footnotes.