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Week 8: Style Guides and Formatting

I have been using style guides to format my work for my entire education. I never feel confident that I can remember each rule or requirement for each formatting style, so I always refer to the style guides. I became so accustomed to using Chicago style formatting during my undergraduate in history that when I studied library science and was asked to do APA style I nearly cried. Without style guides, written and electronic, I would really struggle. I know that academics created different formats to create standardization within the subjects. This allows for consistency in the formatting of the work that academics produce.

When I write my first draft of an assignment, I vaguely look at the style guide and then just do my work. Sometimes I don’t format until the final draft and other times I format just citations and worry about the headers, footers and works cited later. Everyone writes differently and maybe this isn’t the best way to do it.

Throughout the critical review assignment, I did struggle with MLA because I have not used this formatting style since 2008. I found Owl Purdue helpful as I revised my work. In all honesty though, I find that formatting conventions give me anxiety because I need to make sure everything is perfect. Especially for this assignment when I am trying to improve my grammar and understand what dangling modifiers are and how to write a proper critical review, while also remembering to ensure my margins are set to 1 inch. A very over dramatic reaction I would say, but as I have learned from Fernsten and Reda, writer identity can really be marred by previous experiences, and I need to use these reflective practices to work through that writer anxiety.

Going back to what is an academic writer and how do I become one, a question I ask myself at the end of every week; an academic writer is someone who consistently formats their work. I still believe that an academic writer is multi-faceted and that I have a lot to learn still.


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