Let’s get one other thing clear: Style guides don’t only tell you how to properly document your sources. They also give advice on all aspects of writing within a certain discipline. Therefore, it is the point of this assignment to get you to see just what your chosen style guide has to offer. Later on we’ll deal more with documentation—that is, the citing of sources—itself.
Complete the following steps to get familiar with your chosen style guide.
I've asked you all to obtain a copy of the style guide that best represents your academic interests—most of you have chosen either MLA (used mostly in the humanities) or APA (used mostly in the sciences). For this assignment, you'll need to have your style guide in front of you.
Don't have a style guide yet? The Writing Center usually has several copies you can sit and use, and the library usually has copies in the reference section. Make sure you get the proper edition, though; the library usually has a few old editions on the shelves for no good reason. Also, because these are reference books, you usually can't check them out.
Now, using your style guide, answer the following questions. Be sure to type up your answers so they're easy to turn in.
Before answering the next few questions, read any prefaces, forewords, introductions, or other short introductory notes you find in your style guide (generally anything that begins before the first chapter).
Now spend a few minutes looking at the table of contents of your style guide. Don’t just stare at it for 15 seconds—read it. Consider how many chapters there are and what each is about. Read the subtopics of each chapter and make some mental notes on what looks valuable to you. Try to put yourself in the writers’ shoes and see why they arranged the book in the way they did. Now answer these questions.
Now I want you to spend a few minutes looking at the actual text of your style guide. Choose a chapter that piqued your interest and start reading (please don’t choose documentation or formatting, as those will be covered later). See what’s there. See what kind of diction the book uses, how hard or easy it will be for you to understand. Take the measure of your foe. Learn something useful for a change. Now answer these questions.
This assignment should be uploaded to your Submitted folder on Dropbox by classtime on Friday, June 7. Please follow the file-naming and format guidelines.