When to use endnotes?


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  1. #1

    When to use endnotes?

    I have found numerous examples of "how" to write an endnote but I cannot find a reference to show me "when" to write an endnote. I am writing a historical biography so basically my entire book is based on someone else's work: newspaper articles, books, memoirs, personal interviews, letters, emails etc...

    Is there some kind of master guide?

    Thank you

    Doug

  2. #2
    Dude, it's literally in the name.

    You write an endnote at the end. The end of what is entirely up to you: the end of a chapter, the end of the first part of your piece, or the end of the entire thing. An endnote is used in places where you want to add information that is usually too much for a footnote, but where adding it in the main body of text will disrupt the flow and/or overall structure.
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    Dude, it's literally in the name.

    You write an endnote at the end. The end of what is entirely up to you: the end of a chapter, the end of the first part of your piece, or the end of the entire thing. An endnote is used in places where you want to add information that is usually too much for a footnote, but where adding it in the main body of text will disrupt the flow and/or overall structure.
    according to a definition from Bloomsburg University:
    "An endnote is source citation that refers the readers to a specific place at the end of the paper where they can find out the source of the information or words quoted or mentioned in the paper. When using endnotes, your quoted or paraphrased sentence or summarized material is followed by a superscript number."

    so back to my original question - "when" do you use endnotes?

  4. #4
    That depends. As a general rule you can use footnotes, unless the number of footnotes is becoming so huge, that it prevents reading. Footnotes read easier, because you don't need to skip to the end of the book all the time. If you don't like the interference within the story, use endnotes. Also, you can use footnotes to clarify certain aspects in your text, and use the endnote to only list the used material. I assume it's not an academic work? Because if it is, the University will have their own rules for end/foot notation.

  5. #5
    Member Megan Pearson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by debaguley View Post
    I have found numerous examples of "how" to write an endnote but I cannot find a reference to show me "when" to write an endnote. ... Is there some kind of master guide?
    Hi Doug,

    I'm going to assume that you are not writing something that will be graded, simply because students concerned with endnotes are already immersed in both how & when. Besides, you don't sound like a student.

    Are you aware of your style considerations? I use Chicago style, but others will use MLA or APA. The point here is
    1.) to be consistent in your usage
    2.) if you already have a style in mind, confirm that it will conform with your publisher's requirements.
    3.) if you don't already have a style in mind, but you do know the field you want to publish in and know the audience you are publishing for, find out ahead of time what the standard citation style tends to be for that field and that audience.

    Yes, I know that's a lot of 'how' in choosing a style, which I see you've already read up on, but perhaps there is a helpful angle here anyway. The reason is, your choice of style may influence both your when and your how, particularly when it comes to personal communications, letters, historical documents, and other, unpublished materials such as diaries or interviews.

    If I may suggest something else, cite as you write. A mistake I've seen less experienced people make is to think to themselves, 'well, I've got my quote dog-eared on page 304 of that book. I'll write this section and then go back LATER and cite it." Don't do it! I am very conscientious about citing and I will be the first to say that if I realize that I missed a citation OR that cited it incorrectly, finding the original quote/information AGAIN can be like searching for a needle in a haystack. If you can't find the cite, don't use the source. Scrap it, move on, or find a better quote. You should already know this, but it's worth repeating for our younger readers, too, that should you decide to use a source without citing it properly, then it's plagiarism--and you don't want that.

    Also, make sure your citations are complete. When you complete your manuscript, it's always helpful to have someone else review your citations and their contexts for you. (A fact-checker.)


    "When" is anytime you quote or refer to another's work. Direct quotes always require quotation brackets & citations. Acknowledge all paraphrases as paraphrases. Data and figures require citation. Always acknowledge the source for the point of view you're presenting when providing summaries and synopses (i.e., as in, 'Diedrick continues...). Read up on how to summarize in your own words without plagiarising. If it's not your own genuine thought about something, then cite it.

    Now, your audience and the level of academic interest in what you are writing will also have a lot to say about 'when', too, so I'm guessing that if you're asking this question that it will be a popular level book. In that case, check with your publisher. If you don't have a publisher yet, see if you can get a copy of their publishing guidelines. Also, skimming through books similar to yours can give you a good feel for how other authors have handled the 'when' question. When considering how light or heavy your citation density should be (you can think of this in terms of 'information you are presenting' verses 'your discussion of the information'), you may want to think about what kind of readability you are aiming for with your intended audience. Just like in fiction, your audience considerations will affect a lot of the choices you'll make throughout your book.


    Here is a helpful site you may be interested in. It's Purdue University's writing website, called Owl:
    https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_...resources.html


    And finally, good luck with your project! It sounds fun!
    "A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for."
    ~ John A. Shedd


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