From Round to Square (and back)

For The Emperor's Teacher, scroll down (↓) to "Topics." It's the management book that will rock the world (and break the vase, as you will see). Click or paste the following link for a recent profile of the project:

A new post appears every day at 12:05* (CDT). There's more, though. Take a look at the right-hand side of the page for over four years of material (2,000 posts and growing) from Seinfeld and country music to every single day of the Chinese lunar calendar...translated. Look here ↓ and explore a little. It will take you all the way down the page...from round to square (and back again).
*Occasionally I will leave a long post up for thirty-six hours, and post a shorter entry at noon the next day.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Styling Culture (5b)—Using Chicago Style Footnotes and Endnotes

Click here for Styling Culture (5a)
Click here to read the introduction to the Round and Square series "Styling Culture." 
In the next few weeks I will be posting the text for a "volume" that I have been distributing for the last fifteen years. Back in 1997, I handed out a two-page set of instructions that I called "Rob's Style Sheet." I quickly learned that it could be a useful teaching tool, allowing me to describe the practicalities and esoterica surrounding grammar and style in the higher education classroom (and beyond). It also became apparent that it could be a useful tool for writing comments on student papers. Instead of trying to explain in the margins of a paper that s/he was using "number" in problematic ways (we'll get to that), I could write "#19," and have her know exactly what I mean. The most impressive students learned the material very well, and some of them have already gone on to be successful writers—in and beyond academia and the corporate world.
[a] Precision RF
I will be posting the manuscript that I have provisionally entitled Styling Culture on Round and Square during August and September. As you will quickly see, it is meant to be a grammar book for the anthropologist of American English. It has its prescriptive elements, to be sure (this is all explained in the introduction to the series), but it is meant far more powerfully to be a genuinely useful guide to the culture wars surrounding grammar and usage. In particular, I have great venom for both the annoying critics who always seem to be correcting people and (this is important) for the "good guys" who tell you that it doesn't matter. They're both wrong, and they will hurt you if you listen to them. I'm here to help you, so read on.

Styling Culture (5b)—Using Chicago Style Footnotes and Endnotes
Learning to use Chicago Manual of Style citations is straightforward. I recommend beginning with an online search that walks you through the process. At first, focus on gaining skill with the basic forms, such as single author books, articles, and (this is important these days) websites. As you progress, you should try to learn the precise way to cite a wide array of complicated materials, from handwritten letters to ethnographic field notes. Over time, you will start to notice citations used in published materials, and will learn as much from messy and inconsistent notes to the careful work of excellent scholars. Learn from both good and bad examples. Both have much to teach you. And there is no resource as rich as the Chicago Manual of Style itself. It is invaluable—if you use it. 
***  ***
a. Use Chicago-style footnotes or endnotes, not APA, or MLA style citations. It is standard practice among historians to use CMS (Chicago Manual of Style) formatting, and all professors in the Beloit College department of history are in agreement on this point. I ask students of anthropology to use Chicago-style notes, as well, if only for practice.
b. Footnotes and endnotes have exactly the same structure. The only difference is where they appear. All footnotes should appear at the bottom of the page, and should appear in ten-point font. Endnotes should appear at the end or your text, after a page break, to create a clean break with the end of your text.
Hayden White, Tropics of Discourse: Essays in Cultural Criticism (Baltimore: 

           Johns Hopkins University Press, 1978), 107.

John Gardner, The Art of Fiction (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1984), 55–56

          3Sima Guang, Zizhi tongjian [Comprehensive Mirror for Aid in Ruling] (Beijing:   
1956), 2027-2028.

c. Double space between citations, but keep individual notes single-spaced (see above). This is my personal preference, since it enhances “readability.”  Note example 3, above. Chinese names do not “reverse” (written correctly, the surname is already first).

d. After the first full reference, it is acceptable (and usually preferred) to “compress” subsequent references. Please follow this model for papers in my classes.

          White, Tropics of Discourse, 57.  (or)   White, Tropics, 57.
          Zizhi tongjian
, 2135-2137.

e. All footnote markers (the numbers in front of the footnote text) should be in nine-point text or lower, both in the main text and in the notes themselves. If you do not know how to change these, ask a friend (or ask me about it in class and I will show it on “the big screen”).

f.  Please mark page numbers clearly in footnotes/endnotes, and do not cite a wide range of pages. A small number of pages (usually one or two) most closely pertaining to your cited point is adequate.

                Avoid       1
Hayden White, Tropics of Discourse: Essays in Cultural Criticism
                     (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins  University Press, 1978), 107, 109, 111,
                     113-115, 127-129.
                Avoid       1
Hayden White, Tropics of Discourse: Essays in Cultural Criticism
                     (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1978), 107-181.

g. All footnote markers should appear as Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3) and not Roman
numerals (i, ii, iii). Change the settings (for some reason, Roman numerals are the default mode in many word processing software systems). Change them.

h. Footnote markers must also always appear outside of punctuation.

          ...religious truths, but that the novel is a sacred manuscript.16  Not only
             does the...
          ...but only the Buddha succeeds in capturing Monkey;17 once he has been
             captured, Monkey is...

i. There should be no spaces between words, punctuation, and footnote markers.

 …as we can see in R.W. Southern’s writings on medieval manuscripts.”18

                 Avoid …as we can see in R.W. Southern’s writings on medieval manuscripts.”  18

j. Proper Chicago style requires a bibliography. Any text with footnotes or endnotes must have one, even if there is only one item on it. Include a bibliography at the very end of your text (after even the endnotes—this requires a bit of work, but do it), no matter what.

k. Note carefully the differences in “footnote” and “bibliography” styles. Make sure that you get this right. Compare to 5c, above.
For the bibliography—as with footnotes and endnotes—double-space between items, but keep individual entries single-spaced.

          White, Hayden. Tropics of Discourse: Essays in Cultural Criticism
          Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1978.

          Gardner, John. The Art of Fiction. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1984.

          Sima Guang. Zizhi tongjian [Comprehensive Mirror for Aid in Ruling]. Beijing: 
          Zhonghuashuju, 1956.

l.  Do not needlessly complicate the bibliography or citations. Try to be as economical as possible. For example, in a book with essays by many authors, think about listing the editor and page number rather than the author of the particular essay, which would require a long and unnecessarily detailed citation. Much of that “explanation” can be covered in the body of your paper. If I point this out as a problem on your papers, please see me and I will explain how to approach these matters. 
                Avoid Paulette Jones, "The Opposite of Demotic" in Jeanette Paul, Hieratic 
                Literatures (New York: Columbia University Press, 2010), 55. 
                Better Jeannette Paul, Hieratic Literatures (New York: Columbia University 
                 Press, 2010), 55.

m.  Although you must master the basic forms of Chicago-style citation (for books, articles, and other commonly-cited media), you will occasionally run into a serious citation challenge, such as a folk singer with a memorable verse as he chanted on the north peak of Mt. Hua (this really happened to me). For most citation challenges (such as, say, a movie or a website), it is just a matter of looking it up. Go on-line and look it up. It is not difficult. For truly difficult challenges, however, it is acceptable to write as much information as you can (within reason) and then to type “CITATION CHALLENGE” in your notes. 
               15Extemporaneous folk song performed on the north peak of Mt. Hua 
           (Shaanxi Province, December 2008). CITATION CHALLENGE. 
***  ***
[b] Citation Challenge RL
That's all there is to it, folks. As I tell my students ever semester, just dive in and start with the easy stuff (single author books and articles). Build your skills and seek precision. After a few weeks, you should reach the point where you cite the basic resources perfectly (by which I mean never making an error for the rest of your life). This is not as hard to do as you may think. It just takes patience...and a small dose of perfectionism. It will be worth it.

Lines and Spacing
After two days spent on high-drama matters of citation, we will return to more mundane topics that are meant to make your papers beautiful, proportional, and elegant.

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