Today, I'm a dork because I recently invested in the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. I know, I know...I've lived without it for 16 years of schooling and ideally, I should have owned it about 8 years ago...but I've finally jumped on the MLA bandwagon...with a little under 2 years of schooling to go.
But anyway...it's not dorky that I own the MLA Handbook. Thousands of people do. Many are required to buy them for classed (it really should be required for every student, starting in 8th grade...this I firmly believe).
The dorky thing is that I'm flipping through it recreationally and loving it!
It's not just formatting papers, works cited pages, and internal citations. Oh no! It's practical tips for taking notes and researching, AND! Grammar rules and mechanics of writing! For example, did you know that you should never start a sentence with a numeral?
This is the big one.
I've asked a couple times in this journal if there were a difference between 1990's and 1990s and similarly '60's, 60s, and other variations therein. As it turns out, there should never be an apostrophe before the "s" (1990s) and always before the abbreviated number ('60s).
It's a rule and I never have to wonder again!
YAY! MLA is super!
The only downside?
Art historians use Chicago Manual Style, not MLA.
But, the other new nifty handbook I purchased recently was A Short Guide to Writing About Art. And that includes a small section about Chicago Manual Style.
Now to put all these spiffy rules to use in my papers. Yuck.