Week 7: Citation Methods

I found the reading about the primate photograph extremely interesting. Copyright issues are not something I consider myself very familiar with, so I have to admit I was a bit shocked to learn that PETA had filed a motion to consider the photograph property of a monkey. As somebody who studies communication, I am interested in the implications of this case as the photo would not have happened without the photographer setting up the camera in the first place! In my own field of work, I doubt this is something I would have to deal with as much as citation issues.

For example, as a GTA I oversee about 150 speeches a semester. In most of these, students are responsible for creating citations in either APA or MLA format. As a communication scholar, APA is the format that I am most comfortable with, so I had to teach myself a bit about MLA in order to be able to grade my own students! In that way, I found citation software and manuals very helpful as I learned about proper formatting.

However, the flip side of the coin is that my students heavily rely on citation software (often Citation Machine or Purdue OWL), without taking into consideration that sometimes it comes out incorrect! I have recommended the VT writing center to students in the past, but I don’t know how many have actually visited. I think it is important to talk with students about the implications of relying on software to do citations without double checking the work- after all, is the convenience really worth potential plagiarism? I’d think not!

One Reply to “Week 7: Citation Methods”

  1. Good Morning,

    I completely agree! I read the article about the copyright rights for the monkey and I thought how crazy it sounded yet it also brings up some gray areas in copyright laws. I think the intention behind the photo is interesting too, because the photographer just left his camera, without thinking the monkey would take a selfie. I look forward to seeing what happens in the case as well!

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