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How to Cite Genealogy Sources

2014-06-23   Views:1

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Genealogical research can take many forms as a researcher uses sources from historical records, oral traditions, genetic analysis and various other records. Proper documentation in genealogical research becomes increasingly important because of the w

How to Cite Genealogy Sources

Genealogical research can take many forms as a researcher uses sources from historical records, oral traditions, genetic analysis and various other records. Proper documentation in genealogical research becomes increasingly important because of the wide variety of sources used and the necessity of linking verifiable sources with any conclusions the researcher might draw. Though there is no standard specific to genealogical sources, the MLA citation format is commonly used.

Skill level:Easy

Instructions

1 List the author of the work. The name should be last name followed by a comma, then the first name and middle initial. Up to three authors can be listed, but only the first author should have the name reversed. If there were more than three authors of the work, list the first author followed by "et al" (without the quotes).

2 List the title of the source. If the source were a part of a periodical or collection of works, first list the article's title followed by the publication's title. List the article title within quotation marks and the publication title in italics.

3 List the information on the publisher if available. The publisher information should be listed as city, state and country followed by the business name of the publisher. You can omit the state if it is obvious from the city and the country if the work will only be viewed within that country. If the publisher is not known, or there is no publisher, then include the place information if it known and list "published by author" without the quotes.

4 If your source has page numbers or paragraph numbers, include them following the publisher information. If the information encompasses multiple pages, separate them with a dash.

5 Add optional annotations. For genealogy sources, it is common practice to include comments addressing the credibility of the source, the rational for including the source and other comments that might be of use later. Place these comments within square brackets at the end of the citation.

Tips and warnings

Each of the sections needs to be separated by periods. Information within each section is separated by a comma. In the MLA format, there are specific rules concerning different types of sources. For unpublished sources such as letters or photographs be sure to include the informants name, the location and date. You should use annotations here to help describe the reliability of the source and to describe the information given.

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