Turabian MLA Format Software?

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by PilgrimPastor, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. PilgrimPastor

    PilgrimPastor
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Messages:
    289
    Likes Received:
    0
    There is an interesting discussion happening on on the "$3,000.00 Question revisited thread" about citations. Thought I'd start a new thread since that has gotten a little off topic and I feel somewhat responsible with my suggestion that format software such as Style Ease or Eazy Paper is a good thing.


    http://www.styleease.com/

    http://www.eazypaper.com/

    (for the record, I have had much better success with Style Ease than Eazy Paper and I have used both in Turabian and MLA. I've never come across one for Harvard Reference system, but that system, as with MLA, is MUCH more straightforward than Turabian. Style Ease has a "Seminary Style" also but I am not sure what seminary it was written for, it is basically Turabian with a modified cover sheet...)

    Question:

    Is it appropriate to use format software like Style Ease? If so, is is more appropriate at the undergraduate or graduate level? Should one learn to do it manually first? (I would suggest yes, but what do you think)

    Does the use of this software have a bearing on conservative scholarship quality or integrity? Should I throw out the software and my computer and get a really old fashioned to typewriter to ensure I spend at least 60+ hours on each research paper in formatting alone? (sarcasm noted...)

    Thoughts?
     
    #1 PilgrimPastor, Oct 5, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 5, 2008
  2. paidagogos

    paidagogos
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2003
    Messages:
    2,279
    Likes Received:
    0
    Learning or using?

    If one is taking a class where the professor is teaching how to do citations, it would be unethical to use software for one's work. IMHO, one ought to master the citation system first and then use software to automate the task when working for productivity. Work in school is for learning but work in the real world is geared toward productivity. This is just one man's opinion but I do have experience in teaching, writing and researching. What do you think?
     
  3. sag38

    sag38
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    4,394
    Likes Received:
    1
    The professor should be teaching the students how to use the software as opposed to the old method which leaves many pulling their hair out trying to figure out the rules and regulations that are subject to various and sundry interpretations.
     
  4. paidagogos

    paidagogos
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2003
    Messages:
    2,279
    Likes Received:
    0
    By what logic?

    Isn't this rather like saying that the professor should be teaching the students how to use word processing rather than teaching composition? What is the course content? How to use software or how to do citations?

    Or, this may be like the student, whom I knew, that copied his sources verbatim and used paraphrase software to write his paper. duh?
     
  5. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    If one uses Microsoft Word 2007 it is quite easy to use the references button to develop citations, footnotes, and a Bibliography or References section in any paper.

    In MS Word 2007 there is a choice of 10 different formats that one may use.

    However, it is imperative that the student know how to properly list the required information. When I teach this sort of thing, I always teach the students to properly format the material correctly then tell them about the templates that are available in their software.
     
  6. tlange

    tlange
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2001
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    0
    Been there...

    I am currently in graduate school. I can remember doing papers on a typewriter back in high school. I can also remember doing papers on an old Apple II computer in college. Now I am glad for programs like Notabene. I save an unbelievable amount of time using Notabene. Check it out at www.notabene.com I used EndNote for a while at the recommendation of a professor who used it for a book that he wrote. I found the program to be marginal at best and required a lot of tweaking to get it in Turabian format...
     
  7. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    7,406
    Likes Received:
    99
    I hope I'm not too late, such goodly responses so far...:thumbs:

    I use Endnote for my papers and articles and have since my days at the seminary. Honestly I have no desire to ever learn a particular format outside of the page delimitations. There are too many variables. If you are getting a PhD or EdD in Library Science you might need to learn them out of sheer necessity for your written examinations.

    There are just too many things to learn and our students' times are better spent working on content and not worrying about construction. I mean think of ole Kate Turabian's style guide, she has fifty thousand (an exaggeration) different citations given the kind of book and how you have used it.

    Before I used Endnote I would invariably spend an additional two to three hours working on citations and formatting at the end of my paper. This is time I could have been using for other research or, I don't know, sleeping. Citation systems, their complexity and inexhaustibility, are too difficult to try to remember all the jots and tittles.


    None whatsoever. Actually if you knew how many of my colleagues used these software programs and what they were producing this question would quickly becom moot, in my opnion.

    Additionally, and this is a much better point, most scholars who are writing a ton of stuff that is noteworthy and good (which is not as hard to come by in conservative circles as it once was) usually farm out research, formatting, and proofing to an assistant or post-graduate student working with them. Some even use, wait for it, ghost-writers to pull their stuff together...the men that I've ghosted for...I tell ya, its quite the list.

    None of the conservative scholars who have a sound reputation have issues with the software use at all. In fact they often encourage students to use it.

    Great point here. Besides if your professor is grading more on construction than content you need to leave their class. If a professor (or TA) can't reasonably engage with content they need to sell the farm and move somewhere else because they can't cut it.

    I love my documentation software, it is a God send. I can carry around an entire library (or access to an entire library) of content on my laptop and create a complete journal article with all the citations and formatting while flying between New York and London. What a great thing! I don't understand people who think it is an integrity issue, I really don't. Imagine the scholarship that could have been produced twenty years ago if vibrant scholars had this kind of information and software available. Wow.

    BTW, (last point my apologies on length) I just submitted a journal article to three different journals. Each one used a different citation system. Using Endnote all I had to do was open the document, open Endnote, switch the format from (for example) Turbanian to APA or APA to MLA and I resubmitted it moments later. No worries whatsoever.
     
  8. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    Do you have any idea how much "research" is being done by grad assistants and the professor gets the credit?
     
  9. PilgrimPastor

    PilgrimPastor
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Messages:
    289
    Likes Received:
    0
    Good Points

    Thanks for the replies, all good points. I've used formatting software for a while and I don' t plan to stray from it any time soon. It helps me to focus on the more important matters of research and material. After I finish doctoral studies, I intent to continue using it to help with writing projects I have started.

    Blessings!
     

Share This Page

Loading...