Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Writing and building

A word of cheer to those writing for publication or portfolio: Sometimes it's like building a house. You know how fast the basic structure goes up? And then once it's enclosed, how loooonnnng the finishing process takes?

It's the same on the screen (or on paper, if you're stuck in the 20th century). Hunting down those last sources, honing the citations, making sure the format is at least consistent and preferably correct -- even rethinking a key paragraph late in the game -- is much like getting the molding and the surfaces finished. It may seem like forever, but you really will be done.

A related tip: If you have a citation that just won't work -- especially a complicated one involving an on-line image of material originally in print -- try browsing to the relevant page rather than reaching it by search. You may discover that there are more chapters, subchapters, sections, subsections, and parts in the original that may enable you to make the confusions clearer.

(Special to members of APG only: please feel free to drop in on an informal on-line discussion of writing and blogging Friday evening at 9 pm Eastern, 8 pm Central, 7 pm Mountain, and 6 pm Pacific US standard times; world times accordingly. I'll be there but I don't have a speech planned, so bring your questions and observations! Software limits the group to the first 25 who show up. Thanks to the Professional Development Committee for setting this up.)

Harold Henderson, "Writing and building," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 5 February 2014 ( : viewed [date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

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