I'm writing my dissertation and the novel I'm working on is an ebook.

I tried looking for the paperback, but the English version is not available in my country. I tried checking on the web but all versions I found are epub or pdfs without page number.

My problem is about the intext citation. I checked citation guides and all I could find is that I can use only the paragraph or the chapter number. I think it will be weird to analyse several emphasized text quotes from the novel without mentioning their exact location.

So I was wondering whether I can use the page number mentioned in the adobe reader?

1 Answer 1


If you're worried about what is "correct" for your dissertation, I think you will need to check with your adviser -- I think different people might have different perspectives, and you'll only know what those judging your work will expect if you ask them.

From a more utilitarian perspective, I'd say listing the chapter number is ideal. Only the most critical or curious readers will follow the citation; for such readers, it will not be a terrible inconvenience to flip through a few pages to find the exact passage. The chapter number should be enough to get them to what they need.

I would not list the page number that shows up in Adobe Reader, because it's going to be arbitrary, a function of the text size, page size, font, etc. that you have chosen. The function of a footnote is to help the reader find the text, but using arbitrary page numbers may have the effect of hindering them, as they may not immediately realize why the numbers they're looking at don't correspond to yours.

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