Avoid Trouble and Document Sources Now Using Footnotes or Endnotes

One of the biggest headaches you will experience as an author is trying to track down copyright information for quoting or referencing others’ resources after you’ve written your content. Avoid the pain. Save days of work later. Document as you go.

Documenting copyright information now will lessen stress later.

Documenting copyright information now will lessen stress later.

Jane Friedman has a great article on her blog called “When Do You Need to Secure Permissions?” I highly recommend taking a few minutes to read this article if you’re planning to use other’s materials in your book. Jane includes links to other resources if you need to dive deeper into copyrights and permissions.

Below I have listed the basic information you will need to have to give proper credit to a source. The Chicago Manual of Style Citation Quick Guide is a free resource that provides specific and more detailed examples. Save this link! It’ll come in handy. You don’t want to mess around with copyright infringement.

Remember, as you are doing research or when you run across information you’d like to include in your book or may need to reference later, document the following information that will be needed for footnotes or endnotes.

For a Book

  1. First Name and Last Name of Author(s)
  2. Title of the book (italicized)
  3. City of publication
  4. Publisher name
  5. Year of publication
  6. Page number in the book where the quote can be found

Sometimes there may be more than one author, an editor, a book with more than one edition or volume, so note that information as well. See  Chicago Manual of Style Citation Quick Guide for specifics.


1 First Name and Last Name of Author, Title of Book (City: Publisher Name, Year), page number.

1 Cindy McGill and David Sluka, What Your Dreams are Telling You: Unlocking Solutions While You Sleep (Minneapolis: Chosen Books, 2013), 45.

For a Magazine or Newspaper

  1. First Name and Last Name of Author(s)
  2. “Title of Article” (in quotation marks)
  3. Name of Magazine or Newspaper (in italics)
  4. Date of publication
  5. Page number (for a magazine)


2 First Name and Last Name of Author(s), “Title of Article,” Name of Magazine or Newspaper, Date of Publication, page number.

2 Elizabeth E. Winter, “Why it Always Snows on Valentine’s Day in Minnesota,” SquareTribune, February 14, 2011.

2 Peter Papa, “Eight Gifts to Avoid for Father’s Day,” GoodDads Magazine, June 1996, 55–56.

For Online Sources

Many resources are now online and sometimes it doesn’t feel as official as a book, magazine, or something you can hold in your hand that was printed with ink. But someone wrote the content and it’s important to give credit…or face copyright infringement.

Sometimes it is only necessary to give credit in the text of your book (“On July 10, 2013 the Target Corporation said on their website that….”). The same is true of a blog entry or comment. It never hurts to include a more formal citation, which in general would include the information below:

  1. Author name(s) of content (if an author is given)
  2. Title of article, blog post, website page, etc.
  3. Owner of the website or website title
  4. Date of publication or date of its last revision
  5. URL (the website address)
  6. Date you accessed the content (especially if the information may change)


3 “Investing in Bangladesh’s garment industry,” Target Brands, Inc., accessed August 12, 2013, https://corporate.target.com/discover/article/investing-in-Bangladesh-s-garment-industry.

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