Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What is up with non-fiction?

So I've been reading quite a bit of non-fiction lately and I'm starting to become a little concerned. Not by the quality because I've read some pretty well-written, thoroughly researched, and engaging non-fiction but what's up with citations? All of these books are using source notes instead of in-text citations or footnotes. This worries me- particulary when it comes to teens using these books for their own research projects and papers. After all, how can we expect teens to learn how to properly cite sources if the books they are citing do not use a method that makes the types of material that require citations easily recognizable to students? After all, how many of them are going to check the source notes after every page to see what is cited- especially when there is no indication within the text that it is cited anywhere? I realize that source notes are acceptible (and generally prefered) in academic research, but I think that these authors and publishers need to recognize their audience and remember that as they are determining how they will handle citations.

1 comment:

Sharon said...

I agree. I think that the concept of citations and bibliographies is totally lost on kids. Seeing concrete examples in their reading could certainly help. I was talking to a kid the other day about the purpose of a bibliography. She had no clue. She was just going through the motions for a grade. Don't even get me started on that... what has school been reduced to these days?!