Showing posts with label MLA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MLA. Show all posts

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Citations and references: the solution to the Kindle / ebook dilemma


If you own a Kindle, Nook, or other ebook reader you will be familiar with the problem that the majority of texts do not have fixed page numbers. They will also display the same text in different way. This means that the location of a quotation in one digital format will be different from another.

Obviously if you are downloading a pdf there will be fixed page numbers to refer to. Readers who want to locate and check your quotations can of course simply search for key words within the text. Also, you can indicate which section of the book you are referring to by including a chapter reference.

Therefore you ought to write in this style

McCormick (2013) outlines the art of disputation (ch. 7) and the art of the supplement (ch. 6).

and quotations like this


McCormick (2013) argues that 'the use of transition words is highly effective in logical thinking' (ch 1.5).

Note that in the example above, the reference helpfully also provides a note of the subsection 5 of chapter 1.

In fact, my epubs included page numbers based on the printed version of the book. These are printed in [square] brackets throughout the text. This means that it would be possible to be more specific:


McCormick (2013) argues that 'the use of transition words is highly effective in logical thinking' (p. 23).

Finally, the basic citation looks like this:

McCormick, Ian. The Art of Connection: the Social Life of Sentences. Quibble Academic, 2013. Kindle file.

According to the MLA, it is even possible, with less information, to cite as follows:

McCormick, Ian. The Art of Connection: the Social Life of Sentences. Quibble Academic, 2013. Digital file.

I'm still unsure how you deal with geographic location of the purchase as this may define the place of publication, e.g. a copy purchased in the UK comes under Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.; or in the United States as Amazon Digital Services, Inc. Does it really matter, if it is the same product? Any thoughts?