Sunday, October 19, 2008

Where's an English teacher when you need one?!?

I know I wrote research papers in high school - didn't I?

But then again, that was back when the Internetz was something new and scary. It had games, and this wacky "e-mail" thing, but that was it. When you had to write research papers, you got your little butt down to the library and made friends with our good buddy Mr. Dewey, of Decimal System fame.

You grabbed your encyclopedias, a book or two - maybe even a magazine or newspaper if you were really cutting edge. (I was in all Honors classes, so yes, I used magazines, thankyouverymuch.) You looked at the notes your teacher gave you to cite an encyclopedia, a book, and a periodical, and you were set. Whoo-hoo!

I took one class in college where we had to write research papers (a grand total of three). Again, I used books. One citation format, and I was done. No, wait - I might have gotten online sources for the very last paper, because by the time I sat down to start it, the library was closed, and the all-night computer lab was my only recourse. Either way, that was still a nice, clean-cut "online source" citation. And it was a science class, so he wasn't that big on the mechanics of the paper.

Because I am that annoying G/T kid, all raw and cutting-edge, my dissertation is about a rock band. I already blew some people's minds when I asked how to cite a song from a CD (then again, that was at the local community college). I figured out how to adjust the "short story collection" citation format to fit "songs on a CD" - but what the heck do I do for YouTube videos of live performances of those songs??

Who's the author? The TV channel that aired the concert? The artist, who wrote the lyrics? The band, who composed the song (music and lyrics together, and performance)? The guy who took the TV footage and put it on YouTube? Does the guy who posted it on YouTube count as the "editor"? The "publisher"?


1 comment:

  1. The rules for legal citations are all sorts of funky. I have 2 reference books for them. They're totally opposite of the psychology research cites, which is different again from english paper cites.