Research Papers and E-Books

Like a lot of universities, ours has made a push to incorporate tablet technology into the curriculum. Cumberland University actually gives freshmen and nursing students a free iPad (with certain strings attached). One of the arguments for the program was to give students the option of acquiring electronic versions of textbooks at a cheaper cost.

I’ve run into an unforeseen problem with e-books this semester. Kindle e-books apparently don’t include page numbers. As you can imagine, that’s caused a problem with research papers, book reviews, and analytical essays. My solution has been to tell students that it is their responsibility to gain access to a copy with page numbers. I also plan to include a statement in future syllabi to that effect.

Do you have better suggestions for handling this problem?

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6 Replies to “Research Papers and E-Books”

  1. I always tell students that they need to cite the version that they are using. I agree that there are problems when you don’t have page numbers, but citation style guides, like Chicago, have directions for such materials. I think instead of having the students track down the page numbers and essentially make up a citation, they need to learn to cite what they are using. Information on citing e-books can be found in section 14.166 in the 16th edition of Chicago Manual of Style.

  2. I think that you can download the platforms to any computer. I know you can download the apps for all of the platforms on an iPad (and probably any Mac). I’m not the one to seek out for technological advice, LOL. What I can tell you is that most books are available for all of those platforms. I’m confident you’ll work it out.

  3. iBooks have page numbers (as does Nook); at least the books I have read in these formats. In future, can you require them to use an iBooks or Nook version of the book rather than the Kindle edition? The pagination is dependent upon the font size, perhaps you can have them use Times New Roman 12-point as a standard?

    1. Part of the problem is that I neither own nor know how to use the various e-book platforms. I also don’t control what books are in e-format or offered for sale by the bookstore.

      Looks like I have some homework over the holiday break.

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