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I Had To Do the Right Thing Since I Knew How to Cite Research Papers

February 1st, 2010

I Had To Do the Right Thing Since I Knew How to Cite Research Papers

There is so much more to writing than just writing. My dad who was an editor for a major publisher use to always tell me that. He loved to write but could never really make a good living at it. Instead he spent his life editing other people’s words. He always wished that someday he would have someone to edit his words. It was actually quite sad. He use to say behind every great writer is an amazing editor. I think he was right. I graduated from college with a degree in english composition. I to loved to write and I to was unable to find a job as a writer. Furthermore I was unable to find a job as an editor. I took a position as a part time tutor for the english department. That was when I remembered that I wouldn’t just have to be a great term paper writer, I had to remember how to cite research papers.

Needless to say remembering your basic citation methods was not my number one priority in life. But If I was going to tutor students then I would have to learn how to cite research papers. One student in particular, Lisa, constantly needed tutoring. She would walk into my office weekly demanding that I look over her papers. If she received any grade less than an A, I would hear from her the next day. She was my worst customer but she was also the most consistent and paid the best.

I began to do some research on how to cite research papers. First I needed to learned your basic citations APA, in text and MLA, footnotes. I also boned up on the more abstract: Chicago and Harvard. There were very few professors in the world that still wanted the latter citation methods but I needed to cover all basis. And of course I wanted to keep my job. I was sure if I knew how to cite research papers then I would surely have job security.

Lisa came in one afternoon needed some help with a huge thesis that was due the following week. She asked if I could thoroughly edit it and check her citations. I noticed that the professor had called for a traditional APA citation method and Lisa had been using MLA throughout the whole one hundred and fifty page paper. I really had half a mind to just leave the paper exactly as it was a laugh hysterically when she walked in the following day crying over the big fat F she would receive.

I thought about what my dad would do. Yes, behind every good writer was indeed an amazing editor. And as much as Lisa annoyed me I had learned how to cite research papers and I had to help her. It took me almost half a day to edit Lisa’s thesis. I had to transfer over two hundred sources from APA to MLA. But I was happy I did the right thing. Lisa got an A on her thesis and the next day when she came into the office it wasn’t to complain, it was to give me a big fat bonus check.

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