18 November 2010

Then it would be MLA...

This semester, I have two writing classes. Nothing new, just that the university didn't think highly of the community college courses that they refused to accept. In fact, the only difference between my previous classes and these is that I have to write a page more. In my advanced writing class, English 201, we have to write a research paper using the proper formating for my major (in my case, APA). This will be the first time I get to cite in APA and be graded on it. Usually I have to cite in MLA.

In my other writing class, English 101, I also have a research paper (two pages shorter, and yes, they will probably be almost identical). I asked my teacher if I could use APA instead of MLA, as per my major I should be citing in APA. She delicately said no, then after I explained that in the "real world", being a Communications major, I would be writing in APA, not MLA.

She smiled and said, "but if you ever write an English or humanities paper in the real world, then it would be MLA."

I smiled and left thinking, "No, it would be neither MLA or APA, it would be Chicago because I wouldn't be trying to get into a stuffy peer-reviewed journal. No, I would try to get into the newspaper where a lot more people, people who live and deal in the real world instead of reading about it in their peer-reviewed journals, would read it."

P.S. I'm not against peer-reviewed journals, or their readers. In fact, I understand they are a valuable treasure trove on credible and reliable information. I am, however, against people who cannot imagine that most people can't even list a single peer-reviewed journal and that the local "rag" is probably better at getting more people to act on information than "Nature" will ever be.

P.P.S. "Nature" is a peer-reviewed journal. If you already knew that, then you get a bonus 5 points.

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