I was looking at the Watchtower i was given this week, July 1. A 'quote' on page 7 really stood out to me, and i noticed that there was no reference as to where this quote came from, or even a name of the person quoted. Is this common in the WT? Is there someplace where they give their sources? I don't see any footnote number ,etc. ??
Quote by an unamed whoever from who knows where in Watchtower?
It is extremely rare for exact references to be provided. Only a handful of science related books/brochures document their references. The WT usually only documents other WTS publications. Once in a while they might mention a magazine or scholars name, but not give any further details. Usually they just say "a bible scholar" says "blah blah blah".
I can only speculate but I think they likely don't want to encourage people to easily look up
1) "Bible Scholars" can be statements from priests and theoligians in "Christendom"
2) You'll see what the source says where the '....' are in the quotes. You may find the quotes taken out of context or against the spirit of the original source.
3) Looking up a reference's quotation in a publication might lead you down the path of doing bible-based research from outside sources
4) The quoted source doesn't have strong credibility in the area they're quoted on
At least that's what I observed when I searched for the original sources.
Thanks to the internet you can take the quote and google it and will find the source (and context) from which it was taken.
Check out this article for an example of how the WT uses quotes to put a much different spin on things than the source intended: