I've come across a problem during my bachelor thesis.

I'd like to cite a single page in a document, but it uses the "section-page" style of numbering pages of the document. It appear like I'm referencing pages 7 to 23, even it is just a single page. (I am using ISO 690)

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What's the proper way to cite such page? Thank you.

  • Verbatim, of course. – JeffE Jan 2 '15 at 15:06
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    It might look at first like you are citing pages 7 to 23, but anyone who actually goes to look up the reference will immediately figure out what you meant (noting that the source doesn't have a page 7 or a page 23 but does have a page 7-23). If they don't read the original source, it doesn't matter. – Nate Eldredge Jan 2 '15 at 17:19

You can write "page 7-23", so that the singular word "page" gives the reader a clue. A range of pages would be "pages 7–23".

Alternatively, I would have no objection to "Section 7, page 23", though apparently JeffE wouldn't approve of that.


It appear like I'm referencing pages 7 to 23

A different symbol should be used in the two cases: when referencing page 7-23, the symbol between the two numbers should be a hyphen; when referencing from page 7 to page 23, it should be an en dash, which is slightly longer than the hyphen.

So, use the appropriate symbol.

  • This will not work, because people constantly confuse hyphen, en dash, and em dash. Better to use a colon, e.g., 7:23. – jakebeal Jan 2 '15 at 13:10
  • You are right, but the problem is when I am trying to add page into citation in MS Word, I can't type hyphen in there, but just en dash. – sealer30 Jan 2 '15 at 13:10
  • @jakebeal: It's a possibility, but if you're writing for a publisher which requires a dash and you use a colon, it is likely that the proofreader will change it anyway (though these days proofreading seems an art on the verge of extinction). And since we are in academia, it is probably better to teach people the correct usage of the different symbols, so that in the future they won't confuse them ;-) – Massimo Ortolano Jan 2 '15 at 13:24
  • @sealer: Mmm... I rarely use MS Word, but I think you can type a hyphen (see e.g. this article). – Massimo Ortolano Jan 2 '15 at 13:31
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    @jakebeal Nope. Cite the page number using precisely the same symbols used in the work itself. (And pray that work itself doesn't use en-dashes.) – JeffE Jan 2 '15 at 15:06

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