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Yet Another Observation...


Today’s student writer is a native English speaker who claims to need help with English 1010. She says that she needs help with “MLA format.” First off, I ask the student if she is familiar with the “Purdue Owl” website. The student says she is not, so I provide her with the URL, recommending that she check it out because it should answer any remaining questions she may have after the brief 30 minute tutoring session. Our tutor comes prepared with a book that explains various style guide formats in detail. The student’s assignment has to do with explaining what is wrong with American politics, and how these problems are affecting the American dream (very interesting and relevant topic!) After analyzing what she had written so far, it seems as if the student already has somewhat of a grasp on MLA format.

The main thing she seems to be struggling with is citation. Using the handbook, the tutor explains in detail the components that must be included when using MLA citation: author, publisher, city published, date published, copyright date, etc. She also explains about using 12 point Times New Roman, and that the individual elements need to be separated with periods. The tutor goes on to explain that after listing an author and other information of article cited, all she needs to do is list page numbers. Author names need not a repetition. After having the MLA style explained to her in depth by the tutor and her “MLA guide," the student seems to have a much firmer grasp on the subject. With a little more help from “Purdue Owl,” this student should be very successful in the remainder of her English 1010 class.

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