P age |1 to improve the paper. A well-known saying, ´Time is money,µ is exactly right regarding this subject.
In my opinion, as long as the
PICK ONE: The Battle of Citation Styles
student gives credit to whom they borrowed Have you ever wondered why each work from; it should not matter whether high school teacher has their own preferred style of citation format? Any well written format. paper includes information gathered from outside sources, and from personal MLA citation formats because these two experiences, much of the stress is caused by trying to cite everything. When there is a high schools, countrywide. The desire for pile of library books stacked on your desk and notecards scattered everywhere, the plagiarism in most papers, but needing last thing anybody wants to do is have to research another topic regarding how to paragraph is to help inform readers of the properly cite all the material. A lot of time is spent properly citing sources to please dating back to the 1920·s have shown teachers. Khidir W. Hilu summarized how I feel about this topic in an article he wrote, Psychological Association- style. ´The first ´There is one area of publishing we all version of the APA Style Manual was begrudge the time spent: that is, formatting published in the Psychological Bulletin in the literature cited to fit the specifications 1929 as ¶Instructions in Regard to of each individual journalµ (Hilu 779). Now Preparation of Manuscripts.·µ (Connors 229) don·t get me wrong, I believe in the The use of footnotes was really common in importance of giving credit when it is due, the early years of the APA style, but as the but think of all the hours wasted on citing years progressed, footnotes began to slowly properly. This period of time could be used evidence of people using APA- American history of each of these styles. Records more than one style is not necessary. This teachers to encourage these styles is to limit styles are the most common styles used in Most people believe in using APA or they used the MLA, APA, or Chicago Style
P age |2 diminish. Throughout the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, this format was known as the typical standard for the majority of fields (Connor 232). If I had to pick my preferred style of citing sources, it would have to be the MLA format. Known as a more laid-back way of crediting other people·s work, the MLA style, limited all the worrying about following each and every little specific requirement. The MLA format for citation has made little change in the past several years, except for the adoption of citing electronic sources. This change had to be made in all three handbooks because, as you know, the Internet has no boundaries in the amount of information we can find within a few minutes. The overwhelming speed the Internet has today provides everyone with an easy and applicable way of searching for information. Books, articles, magazines, journals, nearly any form of text can now be found online. As my generation grew up, the Internet was always available, so the majority of my experience, searching through these handbooks, was looking at the pages regarding electronic sources.
P age |3 I am a person that enjoys solving math problems; therefore, when it comes to any question or problem that arises, I prefer to have one answer. This is how I feel about citing sources. What is the point in having multiple ways of citing a source? If all three ways are correct, why dwell on learning all the requirements of MLA, APA, and Chicago style formats? In a simple survey I conducted regarding which citation format college freshmen students preferred to use, the results were completely one-sided. Out of twelve different responses, ten of them were MLA and only two were APA. A common question I heard from at least five different people was, ´What is Chicago Style?µ So if only one handbook is normally used by college-educated students, then there is no reason for our high school teachers to require these other two styles to be used as much. The new MLA style was created to please everyone, who had complaints about the previous styles. This explains the results of my survey; most people prefer to use a citation style that they agree with its format. There was always a slight difference in all these forms of citation formats, but one common aspect ´was the use of an alphabetical list of references at the end of the essay or book.µ Even today, most of the basic information is still required, such as name-year and name-title forms in the APA and the present MLA. The Chicago Manual of Style has been most commonly used with research regarding historical texts because it allows the reader to focus on the evidence, rather than being side-tracked by all the publication information (´Yale Collegeµ). Most of my research has backed up my original feelings about why we have so many different styles, in that even experts don·t have one answer to why MLA is better than APA or Chicago Style and vice versa. Regarding my own experiences with this stressful process, I hated citing any of the sources I used; unless it was in the MLA format because that was the only format I was familiar with using. In the past three years, I have used each of these three forms of citation styles for my junior composition
P age |4 class, my senior English class, and I just recently used the Chicago Manual Style last quarter for my political science class. Now as I reminisce on these occasions, I honestly do recall a difference in these three different styles. The MLA style was definitely the easiest for me because my teacher, senior year, made us use the handbook to conduct our research paper·s citations. There are tons of differences in these styles, but none of them are that substantial. The differences range from capitalizing, underlining, or quoting titles. While using MLA, titles are capitalized, underlined, or quoted; however, APA requires writers to italicize or use no mark at all. The in-text citations when using MLA include the author and page number, while APA requires the author and the publication year. I made sure to follow the guidelines of my teachers in high school when it came to this aspect, but I was also somewhat of a perfectionist so I would spend hours perfecting my paper and not have any desire to cite the material upon finishing. It was as if the perfectionist side of me left when I had to cite my sources. I feel as if the decision of which citation style to use is about as important as deciding which flavor of ice cream to choose next time I want a tasty treat. In writing this paper, I have begun to realize that most high school teachers waste valuable time making sure that their students can properly cite in all three different formats. This period could be used to teach their students how to add personal features to their papers to spice it up. In my opinion, the best written papers are done by authors who incorporate their own life experiences in their stories. This might be why I don·t believe in needing more than one way of citing something because I prefer to write about my own thoughts and understandings of a subject. This citation subject annoys me to an extent because there has never been a legitimate purpose in having a bunch of people creating their own distinct style of formatting sources. Of course everyone is going to have their own preference when it comes to anything,
P age |5 ranging from citation formats to television brands. So I am sure you are wondering what my plan is to fix this writing construct. Well the answer is actually quite simple; we need to decide on one citation format and teach this to all students and researchers state by state. Why have opposing views on a topic such as this? It is definitely important to cite everything that may resemble another person·s work to limit plagiarism, but I think one centralized format should be implemented so everyone will have an easier time figuring out how to give someone else·s work credit. -Cameron Bolin
Works Cited Connors, Robert J. "The Rhetoric of Citation Systems, Part II: Competing Epistemic
Values in Citation." Taylor & Francis 17.2 (1999): 219-245. JSTOR. Database. 19 Jan 2012. , ed. "Why Are There Different Citation Styles." Yale College. Yale College Office of Web
Strategy & Utilization, 2011. Web. 19 Jan 2012. <http://writing.yalecollege.yale.edu/why-arethere-different-citation-styles>. Hilu, Khidir W. "Can there be a standardized format for literature citations?." American
Institute of Biological Sciences 43.11 (1993): 779-781. EBSCOhost. Database. 19 Jan 2012.