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Friday, August 12, 2011

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers

Do you ever eat your broccoli first? I usually do. Sometimes I'll have a frozen bag of broccoli or cauliflower for a whole meal. That's what reading the MLA handbook is like. I did something that was almost completely unpleasant because it was good for me. I had to learn how to write again in an academic setting and this book was exactly what I needed.

I learned a lot about grammar, voice, and punctuation. If you look at my older posts you'll see that I used to put two spaces between the period and the next letter, an old habit left over from learning how to type on actual typewriters. Now that modern fonts are made with periods smashed up against the last word of the sentence, a writer doesn't need to add the extra space.

I also learned a lot about citations. I knew the basics, and another great thing about the modern world is that word processing software will let you add your citations as you go along and print your bibliography or works cited list at the end of your article with the click of a menu bar. What I really learned was that you can cite anything, pictures and paintings, musical scores, interviews, pamphlets, comic books and an endless list of other forms of art that are not necessary written academic texts. It really opened my eyes to the number of things that a person can consider to be educational or worthy of referring to in a serious piece of writing.

So I would never recommend this book to anyone as a light summer read or as something to carry around with you as a break between appointments, but I would highly recommend it as an eye opener for academic writers.

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Hey I appreciate you leaving your thoughts behind! Be well my friend.