critical apparatus


The critical apparatus is the technical denomination of what is frequently known as notes, references or bibliographic citations, which are included in a research work, to reflect the bibliographic contributions on which said research is based. Incorporating a critical piece of equipment into a job adds reliability to the job. Its main mission is to serve as a starting point for the elaboration of criticism, with which new knowledge is created.

In ancient times, in the first editions of a text, the editor used to rely on a single manuscript, which he later modified according to his point of view, without making comparisons with other similar texts.

The inclusion of a critical apparatus within the text is very advantageous, since through it the exhausting task of quoting the words of an author verbatim, from which we only require an indirect comparison, can be avoided. The appointments that are made in a book must be numbered consecutively to maintain order. There are writers who choose to follow an individual numbering for each chapter, and others who prefer to continue the same numbering throughout the book.

Quotations or notes may appear: at the bottom of each page, at the end of each chapter, in this case, the numbering must be compulsorily resumed at the beginning of each one and at the end of the text, after the conclusions, but before the annexes, regardless of the numbering system practiced.

In addition to this, the author has the possibility of placing comments and annotations to what he is dealing with; he will be able to make observations that he considers opportune, these will serve to clarify possible confusions; to send the reader to certain sources of information, to refer to some complementary fragments, etc.