I wanted to pass along a great article from The Chronicle of Higher Education about “citation obsession.” The author, Kurt Schick, argues that we should be placing way more emphasis on ideas and the synthesis of sources than we do on a perfect works cited page. This confirms my general outlook: I care less about where my students put the period (before the parentheses? after?) and more about whether the research they’ve found is in depth and appropropriate. Still, though, I do take a percentage off if these citations are incorrectly formatted. It’s not a big percentage, but it lowers their grade nonetheless. As teachers looking to strike a balance–and give our students a strong foundation in what will actually improve their skills and level of knowledge–this is worth a read.
See this interesting article here: http://chronicle.com/article/Citation-Obsession-Get-Over/129575/
Kind of funny – I just sent this article to my kindle to read before I saw your post.
Thanks for sharing this. I used to work with Kurt and we agree on this citation issue. Also, thanks for your other piece in the chronicle.