[APG Public List] Footnoting research reports
wolawol at gmail.com
Sat May 1 07:30:52 MDT 2010
I truly appreciate your taking time to help me out. Your answers and advice
never fail to cheer me up and make things clearer!
On Fri, Apr 30, 2010 at 11:57 AM, Elizabeth <eshown at comcast.net> wrote:
> Valerie wrote:
> >I am trying to get my portfolio together to apply for certification. Can
> someone advise me as to whether or not to footnote my Research Report?
> Between the examples online and in *Professional Genealogy* and the BCG
> Standards Manual, I see a few footnoted and more not footnoted, but with a
> list of resources used. Is this just a matter of personal choice? Thanks for
> any advice.
> Valerie, many research reports do include a master list of sources
> consulted; but a general list of sources cannot replace specific citations
> in support of each individual assertion or statement of “fact.” All of the
> research reports at the BCG website, as well as in *ProGen* and in BCG’s *Genealogical
> Standards Manual,* follow this practice. Some writers accomplish this with
> footnotes, some with endnotes, some with in-text citations—often depending
> upon the type of writing or the complexity of the citation.
> As with all types of narrative reports, essays, etc., documentation is
> heavily concentrated in the body of the report or the essay. Commonly, both
> the introduction and the conclusion might *not* carry footnotes, endnotes,
> or in-text citations because they are, by their nature, a summary of what is
> about to be said or what has just been said. In a research report, we often
> find one or two iterations of this:
> 1. the “starting point data” at the beginning of a report. Here, as
> researchers, we briefly reiterate the data the client gave us to work
> from—in which case documentation might not exist at this point. Or, in the
> case of ongoing reports for a client, we might summarize prior findings that
> are now used as “starting point data” for the new research segment.
> 2. the brief “executive summary” that sometimes prefaces a research
> report. Its purpose is to spotlight a few key points from a long report in
> which all findings and assertions *are* appropriately detailed and
> sourced. The “executive summary” in a research report serves the same
> function as the “abstract” that prefaces a well-documented academic thesis
> or dissertation---or the standard introductory paragraph(s) to a journal
> essay, wherein the author tells the reader what is to come. Beyond that
> executive summary, however, the body of the report will present the
> documentation and other supporting details for all findings, including each
> point that the executive summary spotlighted.
> My “Jeannot Mulon dit La Brun, f.m.c.” report at the BCG website
> illustrates both of these on page 1. Under “background” I provide the
> starting point data given by the client. Under “Key Findings,” I provide an
> executive summary. Both are brief, and neither of these are footnoted.
> Pages 2 and 3 present a general discussion of the resources, problems in
> the use of the resources, and a list of all resources consulted in this
> project. From that point on, the remaining 28 pages present the actual
> findings, using in-text citations and document abstracts to support a very
> analytical narrative.
> Connie Lenzen’s report sample at the website treats a very different type
> of project. It, too, begins with “background” and a “findings summary.”
> She, too, provides a summary list of sources consulted. Her “Research Notes”
> section then uses a combination of in-text citations (when something could
> be referenced very briefly) and footnotes (when longer citations are
> Bear in mind, too, that this summary list of sources is not just a matter
> of convenience or a quick reference tool. *Very* frequently, it include
> items that are not discussed at all in the “Findings” or “Research Notes”
> section of the report, simply because some of the sources we consult do not
> yield findings to discuss.
> Obviously, there is no one “cookie-cutter” model that every researcher is
> expected to follow. The choice of format is yours to make. What is expected
> is that you include the essential components of a professional report and
> that your findings are source-cited so that your client can discern exactly
> where you found each piece of information and exactly the evidence on which
> you base your assertions and conclusions.
> Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the APGPublicList