Writing nonfiction can feel a bit like writing a research paper. You may have a great time finding interesting tidbits to include in your writing, but if you can’t locate them a second time, they don’t do you much good. And if the old index cards and file box solution doesn’t work for you (it didn’t work in high school so it probably doesn’t now), I’ve got a better solution.
Back in the day, writing a bibliography was tedious and usually took almost as long as it took to write a paper. Thanks to the age of computers and the internet, this is no longer the case. Bibliographical generators online make it easy to create a list of your sources in whatever style you choose with the click of a mouse.
And these online generators can do more than just create your final bibliography. They can also help you verify your information to an editor or fact checker long after you have moved on to another project.
Start by creating a new bibliography for your project before you even begin to write. As you research, enter the bibliographical information into a generator for all of your sources. (You can delete entries later if you find that you didn’t use one.) Use your newly created bibliography to footnote your project as you write using the footnote feature in Word. Then copy and paste the appropriate entry from your bibliography into the footnotes.
Even if you don’t have to turn in a footnoted copy of your project to your editor, save a footnoted copy for yourself. At some point someone may ask where you found a particular piece of information. A quick look at your footnoted copy will tell you what you need to know without having to retrace your research steps.
Some bibliographical generators:
Citefast.com – www.citefast.com
Grammarly.com – www.grammarly.com/citations
EasyBib – www.easybib.com
Bibme – www.bibme.org
Cite4Me – www.cite4me.org/bibliography
For more information about nonfiction research see my video “Research for Nonfiction and More” and other videos from Nonfiction Ninja members at Serious Writer Academy on line. www.seriouswriteracademy.com
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