Have you experienced the thrill of finding the perfect quote? You’ve worked long and hard on writing your book, and in the middle of a chapter, you need to find an excellent source of invaluable information to drive your point home. You search high and low, in libraries and online. And then you find it! But that joy may fade.
The dread I always felt in my early years of writing was how to cite such wonderful information. First, there are the endnotes. Does the author’s first name come first, or the last name? And what do you do when an internet article doesn’t even name the author? Then there’s the Bibliography page. I want it to look as professional as the books I’ve read and loved. And I can’t forget the Bible references—does the period go inside or outside the quotation marks, and should the translation be in parenthesis?
The Chicago Manual of Style and the SBL Handbook of Style answered all my citation questions, and made formatting easy. Granted, the indexes may be challenging as guides to find what you need. But in this post, I would like to show you the various ways to format the citations that make your book even more captivating. Here we go!
a. This is the general pattern for citing endnotes. Use the same size indent as the first lines of your paragraphs. (I may not be able to show you here all the proper indentations, but I can tell you the way it should be.)
First and Last Name of Author, Book Title (City, State of Publisher: Publisher’s Name, Copyright Year), Page number where your quote is found.
This is an example from my first book:
Andrew Donkin, Going for the Gold! (New York, New York: DK Publishing, Inc., 1999), 41.
b. This is the pattern for online articles. If no author is named, simply leave that part out.
First and last name of author, “Title of Article,” Name of Website, date accessed, URL.
Winston Churchill, “Never Give In,” The Churchill Centre and Museum at the Churchill War Rooms, London, accessed August 15, 2012, http://www.winstonchurchill.org/learn/speeches/speeches-of-winston-churchill/103-never-give-in.
When you cite a book for a Bibliography, reverse the author’s first and last names, and leave out the parenthesis and page number. Give each entry a hanging indent. (The first line of each entry is all the way to the left, and the second line comes in to the right the same distance that is used on the first lines of your paragraphs.)
Last Name of Author, First Name. Book Title. City, State: Publisher, Copyright Year.
Here’s how my entry for Andrew Donkin’s book looks:
Donkin, Andrew. Going for the Gold! New York, New York: DK Publishing, Inc., 1999.
Pretty easy? Remember to make this list alphabetical by last names, and check it twice. (I wish I had.)
3. Bible Verse References
The pattern is this:
“God is love” (1 John 4:8 NKJV).
After the ending quotation marks, put the Bible reference and translation in parenthesis, without a comma between them. If the verse ends in a question or exclamation point, place that punctuation mark before the ending quotation mark, and put a period after the second parenthesis.
For writing, we have to program our brains to include the Bible version that we’re using. We aren’t used to writing these at the end of verses in our prayer journals or sermon notes. But trust me, your book and magazine editors will appreciate it if you remember them.
Has citing your sources been a breeze or a pain in the past? Please share your experiences of the joy (or dread) of citations, and I hope these examples increase your joy. In the comments below, please share any tips you’ve found or questions you have.
Finding captivating quotes makes our books more engaging. Don’t let the citations intimidate you like lions, tigers, and bears!