Monday, July 13, 2009

Death by Footnotes

Excuse me:


Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!


I hate this! I am wrangling with footnotes right now --- for an essay that has been written as a dissertation chapter and then revised about 3 separate times. I need to go through and make sure that all the footnotes (and citations in general) I need are in this latest version, in the right place and the correct order. And I'm switching citation styles. Since I have expanded and contracted the piece, not to mention massively reorganized it each time, this is no easy undertaking!

Not to mention the fact that I hate waste and have the urge to include everything once I have found it, so I'm trying to figure out which things I need and which I just want to include because they finally got written down and made pretty.

And right now my nemesis can be summed up in a single word:

ibid.

I like a lot of things about research and writing, but this isn't one of 'em.

6 comments:

Lucky Jane said...

I don't enjoy fixing notes, either, though I probably dislike indexing even more. Still, these mindless chores do provide rest from writing's more arduous tasks, as well as a sense of closure. Before long, you'll be free to kick back and work on the next article. OK, that's all I gots. Good luck! Yours in the struggle and all that. . .

Mitch said...

Do you use a reference manager? Thompson's Endnote and Bibus are two I've found are great for reoganizing and formatting (and reorganizing) references.

Moria said...

Will thinking of it this way help?

Dr. No said...

Fuck, that sucks. I understand your pain. At least its a task with a clear end point, better than the endless text tinkering.

Jon Rubin said...

I'd recommend Zotero over endnote or Bibus. It's free and integrates well with Word and OpenOffice

www.zotero.org

You will never have changing style or ibid (the work of the publishing devil) again!

Sisyphus said...

Mitch and Jon, it sounds like those would work with my ibid problem, but most of my footnotes are content related, not references. I have to decide whether to use this apology for not covering X topic over here or over there, or whether my snarky footnote about people who missed something important goes in or not.