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This needs to be distilled.


Well, not to open a can of worms. And if this is a bad place for this question, feel free to let me know; I came here because the signal to noise is a little better than, say, “sca arts and sciences” and because I wanted something more focused than my own page.

So, six out of six (well, maybe five out of six) of my judges (at the most recent judging extravaganza (stromgard’s stormmaker tourney( arts and sciences championship))) pointed out that my use of paranthetical citations (for instance “blah blah blah (dude)” with dude referenced in the bibliography) was distracting from my discussion.

I really *hate* having to ask this, it stands against most things I hold dear in the arts and sciences. The footnote suggestion is probably the best compromise.

Is there (not a guide on how to research) a guide on how to cite (for what I say is a casual reader) your sources in a paper with footnotes, specific to the sca (us)? In addition, if you have a (real-world) example of how you use footnotes with google docs and how they get copied between one doc and another (yes, I googled that and there is a solution).

In particular, I’d be happiest to use a footnote that contained the entire citation (rendering the bibliography obsolete but probably include it anyway) because I want to establish (for my own use) some research modules like “where do I buy soapstone and how does that compare with medieval soapstone quarrying” (things I don’t need to rewrite every presentation).

I don’t have a preference between formats of citation- ALA versus whatever, it’s a religious fight like vim versus emacs. The important thing is that people see I’ve done some research and can check my sources at their leisure.


  • Laurel Grasmick-Black This surprises me. I use parenthetical citations and have mostly been given positive feedback about it, although perhaps there’s some sample bias at work. I’m interested to hear replies to this thread!
  • Rebecca Williams von Groote Russ, I am sorry this was your experience. To my knowledge, there isn’t. Personally, while I am not a fan of parenthetical citation (I used to run 2 copies of journal articles in grad school and would sharpie out the citations on one), I would never See More

    Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide. Tools for writers and editors from the Web site for The Chicago Manual of Style.
  • Russ Gilman-Hunt I may be overstating the case. A little. I read the reviews before my morning coffee and that was one thing that stood out. It’s really not that big a deal to me, and may also be that my paragraphs looked like “assertion i think is boring, assertion thSee More
  • Russ Gilman-Hunt So, I guess this is a separate question but I’ll ask it on this thread. Suppose I have a document on “how soapstone was quarried in the middle ages” and I include it in my documentation for a project, and then I cut and paste the bibliography from the “module” to the “project” – now the project might not cite every item in the bibliography. Do I need to weed the bibliography?
  • Laurel Grasmick-Black I will say I use appendices for some of what could be footnote citations. Like “for long discussion of medieval wheat genetics, see appendix 2”. Then my paper can read like “Based on overall trends in medieval wheat research, the best flour to use to rSee More
  • Isabel Winterbourne The style I use is ‘vaguely’ APA, and when I cite, it looks something like this; “Acccording to Dude in ‘This Thing Dude Wrote’, widget A was constructed blah blah blah (Appendix A-3).” After that statement, I will only refer to Dude and that appendix with it’s page number. This has been well received in my documentation.
  • Russ Gilman-Hunt K. I’ll sit back and watch for responses. Thanks Laurel and Rebecca
  • Turi Henderson First question: In my experience (as a scholarly writer and an SCA judge), it often boils down to personal preference, and everyone will prefer something different. I was told, back in the day at University, that parenthetical citations were the realm See More
  • Rebecca Williams von Groote Oh, and Laurel is correct, Appendicies are kinda awesome. Let’s you get real down and dirty on, say, left handed widgets used in the production of right flanged dongles in Yorkshire in 1324, without interupting your general overview of left handed widgets in general.
  • Murna Marshall I also got some comments that I thought were somewhat critical regarding citations, I used footnotes. I prefer footnotes because I think it allows the reader to get the point of your sentence more clearly. Then they can go to the footnote for support.
  • Russ Gilman-Hunt Laurel’s correct about a lot of things, and her research is awesome. But sometimes I think approaching my documentation for my projects with her level of effort is like dusting the crops with a stealth bomber. I don’t need 50 pages to tell you about pewter casting into soapstone
  • Rebecca Williams von Groote One note I will make generally on Parentheticals: a lot of times, you see one author who publishes A LOT in a given field (example- Kan Albala or Bridget Henisch on medieval food). If you are citing more than one work by Dude McDuderson, make sure theSee More
  • Kirsten O’Brien Odd… my archaeology professors required parenthetical citations, so that’s what I use, too. I am currently working on documentation which uses appendices heavily, though, for the images of period finds I’m basing my work on. I think it’s all a matterSee More
  • Julie Strozyk Russ, ask Arlys (Cynthia Ley) about this.
  • Katrine De Saint Brieuc I think the skill level of SCA judges can vary widely. I think it best to make the presentation flow as smoothly as possible so I would be inclined to use endnotes. If someone is just reading to see what you have to say, they will skim through the ciSee More
  • Cynthia Ley I love University of Chicago style for citations and footnotes. One of the things that’s especially nice about it is that it’s very flexible, and that’s a great tool for anyone involved in things historical. It’s the gold standard for historians. Let’s take this to pm.
  • Russ Gilman-Hunt I’m interested in an assortment of opinions I’ll happily talk over PM with you but I wanna keep talking here
  • Russ Gilman-Hunt but for now I should placate my boss.
  • Christa Gordon I keep threatening to write my documentation up in all the forms I can think of and Have them all out so I can just once not be marked down for having my documentation in a style the judge doesn’t approve of. I’m not a mind reader
  • Katrine De Saint Brieuc So why do you choose to use google docs? For me google apps crash and burn all the time.
  • Russ Gilman-Hunt Katrine: actually, because I wanted something like MS Word, I wanted to be able to edit my files either from work, or from the library (on my laptop) or from a desktop somewhere. I wanted it accessible if I was at Kinko’s and needed to print in an emerSee More
  • Rebecca Williams von Groote You might also consider Dropbox. Accessible from anywhere (with internet and a browser). Open it on word on that device, and edit, then resave to dropbox. I like GoogleDocs well enough, but it fights me on formatting I can do in the latest editions of word. I do use it to host PDFs of everything I link through my WordPress page though.
  • Russ Gilman-Hunt I make liberal use of drop box;)
  • Kirsten O’Brien Christa, yes! If the SCA had an official stylebook, I guess I could understand losing points over using a different style. That lacking, any style that is clear and consistent should be treated equally in judging.
  • Turi Henderson ^That. I personally don’t like parenthetical, but I never mark down for it if it is well and consistently used.
  • Sue Clemenger Now, see. I actually prefer parenthetical. But I wouldn’t mark anyone down for not using it. I’d say, if nothing else, that the OP’s judges need to loosen the hell up. Or perhaps educate themselves a bit about the various options.
    (And for some reason
    See More
  • Russ Gilman-Hunt again, not complaining about the judging. I know my docs were not as good as they could have been, I’m just trying to *sighs* prepare for next time.
  • Beth Ellis I prefer parenthetical as well. It immediately shows exactly who/what the source is. I don’t like footnotes or endnotes at all because I personally find having to stop and look for them in mid-read to be very distracting and disjointed.
  • Katrine De Saint Brieuc Given that it was a Baronial level competition, maybe the citations got in the way of the message. I think the parenthetical form is good for an audience that already knows the subject. But SCA can really be potluck. Perhaps consider an executive suSee More
  • Russ Gilman-Hunt Thanks, Katrine And thanks all of you
  • Cynthia Ley If I’m writing a no holds barred research paper, it’s footnote time. But for findings papers, I prefer using parentheticals.In the case of using parentheticals with refer to websites or sources with Really Long Names or just have an URL Which Gets See More
  • Sharon Rose I prefer parentheticals because I tend to shift my document around a lot. Constantly renumbering is no fun. Or is there software that does it for you now? I have to remember I live in the future…
  • Cynthia Ley Word should have some kind of repagination thing on it you can use. Otherwise, save numbering your pages for the absolute last thing, proofreading being the last next to last thing.
  • Karen ‘Elewys’ Draper Ostheller I’m pretty sure that Word has some kind of auto renumbering for footnotes. I remember writing college papers 20+ years ago and doing draft after draft and renumbering. Bleh! I had a professor (three times, no less) that had a learning disability thaSee More
  • William de Wyke Pick a style manual, Oxford and Chicago are both good, and stick with it. Consistency is the most important thing. Tools like Zotero for managing your references and bibliography are handy.
  • Sharon Rose Holy cow! Word DOES do it! Footnotes from now on!
  • Sharon Rose I love using technology to research antiquity.
  • Julia Samia May You seem to be doing just fine on generating discussion here ,but there is also this page:https://www.facebook.com/groups/ArtisanSupportNetwork/

  • Laura C. Minnick Sounds like your judges were unfamiliar with different citation styles.

    I wish there was some way to educate judges without getting draconian about it.

  • Barbara L MacLachlan Russ, I think you might get the most help if you were to contact the judge or judges who wrote the comments about your citation style. It may be that you thought you were doing a style correctly and you weren’t or that there were other problems that muSee More

    Citation Machine Proudly Presented by Make citation,…
  • Kirsten O’Brien Speaking to them might also help them realize their personal preference for a certain style isn’t really a helpful judging criterion or comment. I once lost points on a 3 cm working model of a crossbow because a judge believed it needed to be decoratedSee More
  • Chris Taylor-Caitlin Parentheticals are correct but I personally can’t stand them. I think they badly interrupt the narrative flow. I would never penalize someone for using them, and I wouldn’t mention my personal preference if they did. But I won’t use them in my own stufSee More
  • Jennifer Berry I use OWL from Purdue university. They have examples and tutorials. Bibme is great for online formatting options of your citations.

    I agree with Halima Gulenay’s suggestion to talk to your judges. It’s good to wait until the endorphins and adrenaline subside so you can focus. Think about your questions or write them down so that you can cover everything.

  • Beatriz Aluares I mostly use Chicago with footnoes for my own work, and tend to plug things into EasyBib (work subscription) so I don’t have to actually memorize. From others’ works, though, my preference is that they pick a style and stick to it within one paper – I don’t care if you use MLA, APA, or Chicago/Turabian, as long as it’s consistent.
  • Beatriz Aluares It might be worthwhile to talk to an assortment of people who regularly judge, including your own judges, to see if there’s an informal “Kingdom standard” preference re: citation styles.
  • Karla Hood Are we discussing research papers or theses, or documentation to show authenticity of an arts or science project? I have seen the latter get WAAAY out of hand; instead of showing the judge that you know what you’re talking about, many expect you to speSee More
  • Laura C. Minnick I sort of agree with this. The bar has gone up greatly, from a 3×5 with a couple of notes on it to a formal paper accompanying the object. I’m not sure that this is bad- our scholarship has gotten a lot better, and this is a good thing. But if we’re goSee More
  • Turi Henderson I was just in a conversation, last night, and learned that the current standard in An Tir is 10pp for documentation. I find that to be excessive, frankly.
  • Karla Hood That’s insane! I “grew up” with the 3x5s, and this isn’t always the best. We keep talking about being more sensible, but I have an apprentice who keeps getting docked because his papers don’t flow smoothly enough, and yet his beer and research is impeccable.
  • Barbara L MacLachlan I think it’s important to work with people about the documentation. Personally I think it’s important that the writer acknowledge their sources and have a coherent flow to their paperwork. Using one or the other style for citation is a handy way to do See More
  • Murna Marshall Thank You Karla
    I think you have hit the problem right between the eyes. I know in my case
    the paper was documentation for a project not a Doctoral Thesis.
  • Cynthia Ley Even though I’m absolutely anal (need an AA meeting?) when it comes to my own stuff, all I really care about on docs are the following: 1) is it clear where a piece of information came from? 2) Has the entrant made it possible for me to find the reference?
    22 hrs · Like · 1
  • Cynthia Ley If the answer to both of those questions is “yes,” I’m good. It’s ridiculous to expect college standards on citations–not everyone has that background, nor should they be expected to.
    22 hrs · Like · 1
  • Karen ‘Elewys’ Draper Ostheller College? Sometimes I’ve thought it sounded like Masters or Doctoral standards.
  • Cynthia Ley I agree.
  • Cynthia Ley Like others who have that kind of training, I’m going to do research that is compatible with my own level of education. That doesn’t mean I should inflict that standard on someone else. What I’m looking for in docs is whether the item created by an entrant was addressed thoroughly, and what the historic model was, plus any necessary deviations, choices and the reasoning behind them.