What is Epigraph:
The title or phrase that serves as a brief introduction to the main content is known as an epigraph. The word epigraph is of Greek origin epigraph, and means "inscription", "title".
These are some of the synonyms that can be used to refer to the term epigraph: motto, label, legend or inscription.
The headings are citations that refer to the entire content of a text or chapter, synthesizing and preceding the main ideas that follow.
Therefore, the epigraphs can be thoughts or proverbs of a recognized author, verses of a poem, quotes from important literary works, among others.
In the same way, the explanatory text that is placed under or next to an illustration or photo can also be referred to as an epigraph.
Epigraph in literary and scientific texts
When an epigraph is used in a literary or scientific work, it fulfills the function of being a summary that precedes each of the chapters or divisions of the work.
Despite being optional, it is currently widely used in academic papers with the aim of enriching its content. In this sense, it is convenient that the epigraph is related to the title of each chapter to be developed.
Epigraph in architecture
In architecture, epigraph refers to the inscription or legend that is placed to identify a building. Therefore, it is possible to find epigraphs in various old buildings, historical monuments or statues in order to highlight part of its history. This custom originated in classical Greece.
At present, it is also common to observe epigraphs on the graves, in this case it is considered as a tribute that the family makes the deceased person.
Epigraph and APA
According to the American Psychological Association (American Psychological Association, APA), the epigraph should be treated as a brief quote that is placed at the beginning of a chapter or an article, and that refers to a deep thought.
The caption is an optional element that is related to the body of the text. Many are the authors who are used to using them in their literary works or in the texts that result from scientific research.
In the case of placing an epigraph, the following parameters must be followed:
- The epigraph should be placed on the first page of the text when it is used as a general reference to the main ideas of the text. But, if an epigraph is placed per chapter, then it must be after the corresponding title or heading.
- It must be double spaced.
- If the quotation is less than 40 words, it must not be enclosed in quotation marks or it must be transcribed in italics, however, if it has more than 40 words, the quotation marks must be added at the beginning and at the end.
- Cite the source of the epigraph in parentheses. At the end of the citation, in parentheses, write the last name of the author of the source (not in italics), the year the source was published, and the page number where the citation can be found in that text.