Sunday, June 10, 2012

Weekend wonderings: footnoting the fun stuff?

A brief but lively discussion on the Transitional Genealogists Forum provokes me to ask how others manage to write something "light" and informal (say, for a family reunion) without risking being professionally embarrassed because it might leave sources uncited or some problems unplumbed. The issue is sharp, because the internet and social media make it easy for something written in one context to be transposed into another, where it may no longer be obvious that it was an informal or "occasional" piece of work. I can think of some finesses, but really, can we have it both ways?

Harold Henderson, "Weekend wonderings: footnoting the fun stuff?" Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 10 June 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]


Michael Hait said...

Easy answer, from my perspective: Don't!

Contrary to popular belief, one can write a light, informal piece without sacrificing standards of citation. This has everything to do with writing ability. The only difference between a light, informal family history article without citations and one with citations... are the citations! Those tiny little numbers that link to a footnote or endnote do nothing to alter the voice of the writing.

Harold said...

Thanks, Michael! That's what I was trying to say ;-)