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I am writing my thesis and using notes from different lectures on the topic as a source of sources. These notes cite other papers and present briefly the ideas, and I do use the lecture notes to find interesting papers on the topic, and in order to add some formal thinking to my research, but never actually quote a part of the lecture notes nor do I take any ideas directly from the notes but rather from the cited papers. I just use the general structure as a "guard" for my own structure and a source of good papers.

Is there a way to cite these? It seems to me that it wouldn't be quite honest to not cite these lecture notes as they helped me a lot.

Idea: should I mention these maybe in the acknowledgement part? Or at the very end of the thesis, between conclusion and bibliography?

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You can mention them after bibiliography –  Sweet72 Sep 7 '13 at 18:50
1  
Is your thesis following a style guide or departmental style sheet? –  Neil Fein Sep 8 '13 at 3:12
    
Ask your professors how this is done. –  what Oct 15 at 20:18

3 Answers 3

Since you don't have a bunch of "sources of sources" -- just this one -- you have three easy ways to remain honest and give due credit.

  1. Find a way to cite the notes directly as a reference, preferably before you cite anything you were led to by the notes. Directly quoting something is not a prerequisite for citing it as a reference.
  2. As you suggested, put a sentence in the acknowledgements section. Something like: The lecture notes from Dr. Smith's course, "Alien Spaceships," were used to provide overall direction and as a source of references.
  3. Do both, just to be clear.
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My suggestion is to divide your bibliography in two sections: the first section can be titled, for example, Cited works (or something similar); the second one can be titled Further references.

At the beginning of the Further references section you should add a brief text explaining which kind of references you have included in this section and why.

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You can use the asterisk '*'.

For example:
Text...... I have a dream *1 ....Text.....
Text....Text..................Text......

So between conclusion and biography you can put a page called "references" so you can write:
*1: Martin King speech

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I'm having trouble understanding your suggestion. An asterisk usually marks a footnote but that doesn't seem to be what you're doing. Could you edit to clarify? Also, is this your own idea or have you seen this done somewhere? If the latter, it would help to say where. –  Monica Cellio Oct 12 at 3:07
    
@MonicaCellio The poster is using periods instead of Greek to indicate "here's a whole bunch of text." However, the real problem here is that this answer is about "how to footnote something," and the question is about "what do I write for the referent of the footnote?" So this doesn't answer the question at all. –  Lauren Ipsum Oct 13 at 9:32
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This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post - you can always comment on your own posts, and once you have sufficient reputation you will be able to comment on any post. –  SF. Oct 13 at 21:38

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