Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Progress on the Research Paper

Yesterday I sent the rough draft of my research paper over to one of our exceptional English teachers.  I knew she wouldn't understand the math, I just wanted her to check it for adherence to the MLA formatting rules.

I'm tired of these different formatting rules.  Seriously?  APA, MLA, EIEIO?  Oh, and toss in Chicago for good measure, damn them!

There was much red ink.  I followed some of the formatting rules too slavishly, and she showed me references which stated I didn't have to be so rigid.  She had me rewrite a sentence or two and they now sound much better than they originally did.  I open the paper with a reference to Isaac Newton; her suggestion also to close with a tie-in to Newton was great and I will incorporate that into my final draft.  Mostly, though, she focused on formatting issues and those should be easy to fix--but there were plenty of them.

One thing I will not change, though, is my British style of putting punctuation in quotations.  The American method is "If I have seen further it is by standing on the sholders (sic) of Giants," even though the comma (at least in my mind) doesn't belong to the quotation.  The English method makes more sense to me: "If I have seen further it is by standing on the sholders (sic) of Giants", with the comma outside the quote.  When it comes to commas, I'm a limey.

8 comments:

PeggyU said...

So is my son's English teacher. You're in good company.

Richard Clark said...

When it comes to record separators, I'm a programmer. :)

I agree with you - the comma is not part of the quote and should not be inside.

maxutils said...

The comma isn't part of the quote, but it goes inside for smoother flow.

Darren said...

I disagree that it's "smoother", as it's less logical.

maxutils said...

Perhaps that's why you're having an englis teacher check your work .. ;)

Darren said...

Moving the commas was the one suggestion I did *not* take. I fixed the other stuff.

maxutils said...

It's not meant to be snark, otherwise I wouldn't have included a winky face … but it's still wrong, and anyone … in this country, at least, will tell you so. So I hope that seemingly small flaw which you base on principle than accepted form does not deny you a pssing grade … but then again, you have math professors reading it, so they might not notice it. I would mark you down every time.

Darren said...

I also split infinitives (when doing so provides nuances that failing to split them does not) and end sentences in prepositions.

Our language is English, not Latin, and some Victorian Latinophile's opinion is not enough of a reason for me to use his recommended clunky structure, especially when such literary greats as William Shakespeare and Winston Churchill agree with me.

As for the comma, well, anyone who wants to mark off for an accepted practice might also mark off for certain people's spelling (centre, honour, grey) or word usage (smoking a fag). This from a language where ghoti can be pronounced "fish".