View Full Version : Technical questions: footnotes, extended quotes, citation form

07-09-2008, 10:23 PM
Forgive me if this is already covered, but searching didn't yield what I was looking for.

I've been taking the advice to write in Courier 12, double-spaced. How do I handle footnotes, though? Same font, but smaller or same size? Should the footnotes be double-spaced as well?

And what about longish quotes? In the sort of writing I've done before (legal), they are single-spaced, with each line indented and no quote marks. Should I do that here also, or what precisely?

I also have a question about the proper form for citing sources. I keep seeing different ways of citing things.


June Casagrande
07-10-2008, 08:07 AM
Well, I'm not the smartest on formatting subjects, but since no one smarter has chimed in yet, I'll tell you what I'm thinking.

If you're planning to publish traditionally, it probably doesn't matter that much. They'll have staff layout people who format your pages anyway. I know you want it to look professional, even if it's not yet the finished product, but the best I can tell you is that you may be worrying unnecessarily. Nobody's going to turn down a book project because the author didn't know what font size to write footnotes in.

Hoping someone else here can give you better advice than that,

07-10-2008, 08:18 AM
It depends on the citation style used. History tends to use Turabian/Chicago Style. That is heavy on footnotes or endnotes which are typically a typesize smaller than the text the footnote is in. In your case I would use 10 courrier single spaced.

For quotes, Chicago style is indented and italicized if longer than three lines. If not, just quote normally in-text. (Just quote marks)

One thing quotes always require footnotes/endnotes with Chicago.

My advice, find out the discipline (education/History etc) your subject falls into and use their formatting/citation guide. many are available online as citation checkers, but it is strongly recommended to have an up to date print copy, as source types have greatly expanded in the last edition or two.

Hope this helps,


07-10-2008, 04:03 PM
Yeah, of course, I recognize I'm worrying unnecessarily. That's the sort of person I am :D Then when things work out, I can be extra happy.

Part of the problem is figuring out the discipline my work will fall into. Parts deal with law, others with education, psychology or medicine.
The fields seem to follow different approaches to citation form. Or perhaps they have changed form over time; I'd had to look at older works, too. I know that in law, different style manuals have come out over the years and folks have to learn what picky little changes have happened. I never figured out WHY the changes had to occur, other than the manual people wanted to sell a fresh set of books.

I may have to just pick a style that I appeals to me aethesticly and stick with that. I haven't heard about citation checkers before; can you tell me more? I realize I must be dating myself. Is there one you prefer?

About extended quotes -- I've read here that folks should write using Courier font and that italics don't show up very well in that (so italics in the final version should be designated by underlining). However, I don't think underlining the quotes will look nice. Maybe switch to a font other than Courier?

Ah, I can drive myself nuts at times! It's probably easier to obsess about this stuff than the content of the book. But surprisingly, I don't seem to have any problems on that score. Yet ;)

07-10-2008, 05:55 PM
Just write and document, using footnotes or end notes as you prefer, and a works cited/bibliography.

Use Courier. Set the footnotes/endnotes in 10 point. Pick a citation style and adhere to it rigidly--if the book is accepted the publisher will have guidelines and you'll re-format if necessary then.

Don't italicize; use underlines instead.
Consistency is more important than anything else.