Work citation styles
Posted: 03 May 2013 09:42 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Since getting out of the Army, I have noticed that I have definitely become more cynical. Good for criticism, but sometimes I think I’m becoming curmudgeonly, too.

So, I had to recently write up a simple little paper using MLA format. In my grad school, I had used footnotes for citations, and the system generally made sense. There are some things in MLA for using footnotes, but the requirement for this paper was to use parenthetical referencing.

Why?

Parenthetical referencing interrupts the flow of the narrative, and it’s actually less complete than what I can comfortably include in a footnote. Not even to mention citing references used in tables and graphs.

And, the double-spacing requirement of MLA is stupid. Why am I double-spacing? I’m not writing a high-school paper where the teacher is going to go through and correct all my grammar mistakes and needs the room.

Argh!

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Posted: 04 May 2013 07:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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So, I had to recently write up a simple little paper using MLA format. In my grad school, I had used footnotes for citations, and the system generally made sense. There are some things in MLA for using footnotes, but the requirement for this paper was to use parenthetical referencing.

Why?

Parenthetical referencing interrupts the flow of the narrative, and it’s actually less complete than what I can comfortably include in a footnote. Not even to mention citing references used in tables and graphs.

And, the double-spacing requirement of MLA is stupid. Why am I double-spacing? I’m not writing a high-school paper where the teacher is going to go through and correct all my grammar mistakes and needs the room.

Argh!

Looking at it from the instructor’s point of view,  it’s much easier to check your facts when you use parenthetical references. The prof can do a quick check of your sources instead of flipping to your bibliography every time you site a particular source, unless he/she wants to that is. And the reason I prefer double spacing is simply because it’s easier to read and you have room to interject comments and corrections. Personally, for a style manual I prefer my students use the"Chicago Manual” much of which you can view on-line now. They even have a Q and A site for quick reference. You may already be aware of this but they are now several sites that do an auto check for plagiarism. I use Safe-assign but there a many others. I suspect that many of these older rules will be altered in the future due to the almost exclusive use of computers on which to write papers. Handwritten papers will be going the way of the Dodo soon. Most schools don’t even teach kids to write cursive letters any more. They now take computer classes in the first grade. Sad in a way.


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 05 May 2013 02:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 04 May 2013 07:56 PM

Looking at it from the instructor’s point of view,  it’s much easier to check your facts when you use parenthetical references. The prof can do a quick check of your sources instead of flipping to your bibliography every time you site a particular source, unless he/she wants to that is. And the reason I prefer double spacing is simply because it’s easier to read and you have room to interject comments and corrections. Personally, for a style manual I prefer my students use the"Chicago Manual” much of which you can view on-line now. They even have a Q and A site for quick reference. You may already be aware of this but they are now several sites that do an auto check for plagiarism. I use Safe-assign but there a many others. I suspect that many of these older rules will be altered in the future due to the almost exclusive use of computers on which to write papers. Handwritten papers will be going the way of the Dodo soon. Most schools don’t even teach kids to write cursive letters any more. They now take computer classes in the first grade. Sad in a way.


Cap’t Jack

I don’t quite follow. In parenthetical referencing, flipping to the bibliography is required to figure out what the titles or names referenced in parentheses mean.

I agree, though; the Chicago Manual is much better.

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Posted: 05 May 2013 06:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I don’t quite follow. In parenthetical referencing, flipping to the bibliography is required to figure out what the titles or names referenced in parentheses mean.

You’re right Andrew. I was thinking of a quick reference known by the prof and not a specific reference. There are some standard references that a professor has previous knowledge of, but especially with the Internet the likelihood of that happening to every entry is becoming slimmer, e.g. Remini p97 is a clear reference to the definitive bio of President Andrew Jackson. The book is known to me due to the nature of the paper and having read and studied Jackson’s life I know the reference well. But it doesn’t always work out that easily, it can become extremely time consuming depending on the topic and number of students submitting papers, not to mention checking for spelling errors, grammar, syntax, paragraph length etc.etc. Just to be thorough but that’s what GAs are for!

 

Cap’t Jack

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One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.

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