Tags:
  1. shadow88
    Offline

    shadow88 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0

    Referencing format in books

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by shadow88, Aug 5, 2013.

    Hello, I am aiming to soon publish my first book. Although I am not new to writing, I am new to setting out a book for print. Thus I would love to receive some feedback from more experienced authors about the process of referencing in-text.

    I have a lot of references I draw upon in my work (100+). Having a background in academic work I've put all of these in APA referencing format. So after a sentence where I have drawn upon some particular work I have a reference (for instance, Author 1 & Author 2).

    Though this is acceptable formatting for textbooks, is this too formal for a general audience book? The reason I ask ... most general books I've read don't have in-text references, though some have footnotes or just a bibliography (albeit they use a very small amount of works cited -- that could just be the books I've read though so I'm not sure if it's standard procedure for writing a book).

    Are references in-text annoying? Should they be kept out of general audience books? If so, how the heck do you make note that you are referencing another author or a particular theory? Or, do you believe it's OK to have references in-text in a general audience book? If so, why do so few books on the market lack thorough referencing?

    I am a bit worried that I am using an academic style for a general purpose book, but I can't just not reference at all. I guess one option is to make generalised references, for example, "Einstein's work on relativity demonstrated", without then having an APA reference to a specific book or article afterwards. How do you personally reference when writing for general audience to avoid citing dozens of works in-text which then break up the flow of writing?

    Once again, any feedback from seasoned authors is much valued!


    Thank you :)
     
  2. katreya
    Offline

    katreya Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2013
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    South Pacific
    I'm not 'experienced' here, but I have seen a footnote style used quite successfully before in a book that was not a textbook, yet had a lot of external references (it was a parenting book). Another similar book which was also for parenting just used APA, so I think it comes down to the number of references and how distinguished you want the references to be - but the footnote one worked well because there was just one or two authors/refs mentioned in a page. If you had 5 + then maybe APA would "look" more appealing. :) That's my 5 cents!
     
  3. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,891
    Location:
    Boston
    The philosophy book I'm reading now uses footnotes for references, though a bibliography at the end is much more common (this is based on my experience reading dozens on philosophy books).
     
  4. shadow88
    Offline

    shadow88 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you both for your feedback, I much appreciate it. It sounds like it comes down to personal preference. The book is about philosophy/psychology. At present I am using APA format, so I have about 2-3 references per page. Thus, I guess my question to readers of this forum is: Would you find it annoying to read a book that had APA references in-text every 2nd paragraph or so? Or would you find this quite acceptable and not intrusive?
     
  5. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,891
    Location:
    Boston
    Annoying for sure. If you want to include references, I would suggest using superscript numbers and having a bibliography at the end.

    I just checked and the Chicago Manual of Style recommends using footnotes or endnotes with a bibliography. The notes are usually used for additional commentary.
     
  6. katreya
    Offline

    katreya Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2013
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    South Pacific
    When I was reading textbooks or any books, to be honest I found it broke my reading pattern ever so slightly with the constant (author, 2007) such and such said (author, 2009), but I figured that was always just me =P I preferred the footnotes method, it just seemed less intrusive on the flow of the text.
     
  7. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    i agree that in-text references would turn off most readers... endnotes would be the best option, imo, unless readers will really need to check them while they read, for some reason, in which case footnotes would work best...
     
  8. katreya
    Offline

    katreya Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2013
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    South Pacific
    That's true - unless the reader is writing a paper, there's no real reason to have it on the page... it's not like they'll be double checking to see if you got it right or wrong!
     
  9. Adam Fort
    Offline

    Adam Fort New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sydney
    I prefer real books. I love paper)))
     

Share This Page