Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     A few years ago, preeminent genealogist Elizabeth Shown Mills published several helpful reference aids in her QuickSheet series. Due to their popularity, she now continues to share her genealogical expertise in more useful guides. One of her latest additions to the series is Your Stripped-Bare Guide to Citing Sources.

     Regardless of the type of source used, researchers need to be aware that accurate, proper citation is a necessity. Breaking down documentation into its barest essentials, Mills provides a guide for everything from books, articles, and manuscripts to certificates, microforms, and website material. She explains the steps on a simple chart, which can be utilized by anyone for nearly every type of resource.

     Mills begins by posing several questions researchers need to ask. For instance, “What kind of resource am I holding?” After genealogists determine the type, the four basic questions of “Who? What? When? Where?” should be answered. Finally, researchers should decide why they should believe the source.

     Then she supplies on one side of the publication an easy-to-understand template containing ten main entries, divided into two columns. One column lists a category while the other shows which bare-bone details are required. If the source is a book, for example, the researcher must provide its title, place of publication, name of the publisher, the date of publication, and number of the page on which the information used appears.

     On the flip side, Mills provides a “source-data collection form” for researchers to fill out as soon as they start to utilize an item. Easy to copy through the lamination, the form has space where genealogists can make notes as they employ each specific source.

     Since the information is on a two-sided laminated sheet, the publication can be stood up or lain down for immediate and convenient reference. In addition, the reference aid is sturdy but flexible, will not easily tear, and will remain readable after the constant use it will surely receive. Indispensable as a handy and compact reference tool, QuickSheet: Your Stripped-Bare Guide to Citing Sources will take up very little room by a computer or on the book shelf and can be easily transported to any research site. All genealogists will want a copy.

     To the guide's price of $6.95, buyers should add the cost for postage and handling charges. For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $4.50 for one item and $2.50 for each additional copy; for FedEx ground service, the cost is $6.00 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional item. The guide (item order 3873) may be purchased by check, money order, MasterCard, or Visa from Genealogical Publishing Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, MD 21211-1953. For phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website

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