Archive for January, 2012

Just In Time For Midterm Papers…An Alternative View of Citation

January 27, 2012

Late last fall, Kurt Schick, a writing instructor at James Madison University, posted an interesting column about citation over at the Chronicle of Higher Education.  I think it’s quite timely as students start to finish up their first papers of the second semester.

Schick argues that a strong focus on the mechanics of citation early on in a student’s career puts the focus too much on the mechanical aspects of writing, rather than the content and creative aspects.  In his words, “students expend a disproportionate amount of precious time and attention trying to avoid making mistakes. Soon, they also begin to associate ‘good’ writing with mechanically following rules rather than developing good ideas.”

He doesn’t believe that we should not ask students to cite their sources; he simply believes that we need to emphasize strict following of style rules less and careful and thoughtful evaluation and integration of secondary sources more.

As you can imagine, his column sparked a healthy debate, including this Letter to the Editor, this blog post, and 175 comments on the column (and counting).

Take a look at what Schick has to say, and then tell us – what do you think?

If you’re wondering where Wikipedia is on Wednesday…

January 17, 2012

…they’re planning to take part in an online blackout campaign intended to protest two pieces of proposed legislation in the United States: the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA).

According to BBC News, the Globe and Mail, and Silicon Republic, the bills have been quite controversial.  Proponents of the legislation argue it will stop the widespread theft of intellectual property on the Internet.  Those against the legislation suggest it threatens free speech and worry that it will hurt investment in online business.

You can check out Wikipedia during the blackout for more information: the plan is to leave articles on the legislation and the controversy available for reading.

Looking for background information on another topic but can’t get it from Wikipedia?  Check out the Background Information tab on any of the Library’s subject guides.

Rejuvenate in January

January 10, 2012

Rejuvenate in January

Rejuvenate in January by learning something new!

Check out a book from our Library New Books display.

Titles currently featured in our display will inspire a “new you” for the new year.

Learn More…

A Little Piece of Magic in Scotland

January 3, 2012

For most of last year, a mysterious, anonymous artist enchanted Scotland’s library and literary community by leaving amazingly intricate paper sculptures made out of books at various libraries throughout the country.  Ten sculptures were left in all, between March and November.

Chris Scott, a photographer who took pictures of all of the sculptures, tells the story of these gifts much better than I can.  Enjoy the story, and the photos of the beautiful sculptures that accompany it.

Thanks to Danielle, who pointed me in the direction of this story.