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Thread: Citing in a Non Fiction Book

  1. #1
    Writing, fencing, and chocolate!!! tempered_steel's Avatar
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    Citing in a Non Fiction Book

    Hello,

    I'm back with another question.

    I've begun a non-fic book and am wondering about citing sources. I'm putting a definition of a word in a chapter, and am using Webster's online. Do I cite it like in paper? Do I put a little number and then cite it at the end of the chapter and/or book?

    I'm really confused. Any help is appreciated.
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  2. #2
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    You would use whatever citation style you are using for other references, and cite it as a website including the date you consulted that page and the url. But I would suggest checking the book version at the library and citing that instead--IMHO it just looks better.

  3. #3
    Writing, fencing, and chocolate!!! tempered_steel's Avatar
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    Thank you.

    But how should I cite any reference?
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  4. #4
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    You should pick a style guide for your citations, which will specify exact details for books, chapters, articles, websites and so forth. For example the Chicago Style Manual, or APA Guidelines. Most fo these can be found online in an abbreviated form.

  5. #5
    Small towns fuel escapism Saltier's Avatar
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    Is there a rule of thumb for which is better when?

    I learned to write papers in APA style, but a couple of my professors randomly required Chicago style on case studies...
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  6. #6
    Writing, fencing, and chocolate!!! tempered_steel's Avatar
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    Because I've used the MLA format for school, and I know all about that. But I don't usually see that type of citing in a book - with the parantheses and the last name of the author and all that. Is MLA a way to cite in a book or is another format usually used?
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  7. #7
    Feeling lucky, Query? jclarkdawe's Avatar
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    First off, before even starting, study how your writing program handles footnotes and endnotes. Footnotes are done at the bottom of the page they are on (word processing programs are wonderful at this), while endnotes are done at the end of the chapter or book. Endnotes are nearly always numbers, while footnotes may be numbers or symbols. Obviously, if you have both endnotes and footnotes, then the endnotes get numbers and footnotes get symbols.

    And a lot of this ultimately depends upon the publisher and the scholarly nature of your book. The more scholarly, the more formal the endnotes and footnotes.

    Quote Originally Posted by tempered_steel View Post
    Hello,

    I'm back with another question.

    I've begun a non-fic book and am wondering about citing sources. I'm putting a definition of a word in a chapter, and am using Webster's online. Do I cite it like in paper? Do I put a little number and then cite it at the end of the chapter and/or book?

    I'm really confused. Any help is appreciated.
    Personally, with a definition I'd put it as a footnote. It should be near the word so that it is useful. However, if you're defining more than a couple of words, it all goes in the glossary. Personally I'd use a symbol like a pound symbol. Don't use a web site when a book exists. Period. The reason is the web is not as permanent as paper. You'd use a standard book citation format.


    Quote Originally Posted by tempered_steel View Post
    Thank you.

    But how should I cite any reference?
    At the moment, style isn't as important as consistency. But you want to have all the possible information you're going to need. And for something that will make you life so much easier, copy the front page of the book with the important information, as well as what you're using. You'll be amazed how often you'll need it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowCat View Post
    Thank you, Tempered Steel, for asking this question because I have a similar question which I feel I should know but I never read a direct answer to it.

    My question is like yours, as in, I want to know about citing sources but where it differs is the etiquette in citing them.

    What I mean is, if I want to mention Amazon or recommend a book or website do I need permission? I have read that you can mention them in a book if it is positive but that was from an article I read over three years ago. Would a thanks on the acknowledgements page be enough?
    You can cite to any source, whether positive or negative, but you have to quote or paraphrase the source accurately. Recommended sources are used all the time and don't require permission. I would not include this sort of stuff on the acknowledgment page unless some personal service was involved.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltier View Post
    Is there a rule of thumb for which is better when?

    I learned to write papers in APA style, but a couple of my professors randomly required Chicago style on case studies...
    Any of the recommended sources are fine, and the differences are minor. Most important is to have everything available. Ultimately, this is up to the publisher.

    Quote Originally Posted by tempered_steel View Post
    Because I've used the MLA format for school, and I know all about that. But I don't usually see that type of citing in a book - with the parantheses and the last name of the author and all that. Is MLA a way to cite in a book or is another format usually used?
    Actually, that stuff is usually in the bibliography. That way you don't have to include it as much in the endnotes.

    Right at the moment, don't sweat this stuff too much. In the drafting stage, I'd do everything as endnotes. (With EQUINE LIABILITY, what became the footnotes (I knew which were going to be footnotes from the beginning) started out as endnotes. It was just easier to work with that structure for both my editor and me in the editing stage.) Guess what? With Word you can change from endnotes to footnotes to endnotes as many times as you need to. More information at the drafting stage is better than too little. Cutting is easier than digging through all of your sources to find a cite.

    Best of luck,

    Jim Clark-Dawe
    EQUINE LIABILITY: WHAT EVERY HORSEOWNER NEEDS TO KNOW Published 2002 sold through

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    THE NEXT STEP ASHES TO ASHES INTO THE VALLEY (48,00079,000 words) Need to up my game.

    THE PICTURE Might be my next project.

  8. #8
    Writing, fencing, and chocolate!!! tempered_steel's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for helping out, jclarkdawe. This really clears things up!
    Just keep writing, just keep writing, just keep writing, writing, writing...


    My first published novel is finally available!
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