Posted on December 9, 2018
Stedman in his article, “Annoying Ways People use Sources” outlines how our writing may be perceive by the readers if it has not been cited appropriately. As Stedman stated, either they will assume that, “you don’t know the generally accepted practices of using sources” or “You know the guidelines but don’t care” which will make it hard for the readers to take your argument seriously.
The first annoyance that Stedman mentioned is “Armadillo Roadkill”. This indicates that the writer has added a quotation without providing a context to it. Adding an introduction is important to give the reader an idea about the point being conveyed. This helps the reader determine why the quote has been added in the first place. The second important point that is highlighted is “Dating Spider-Man”. It explains how when people tend to begin and end an entire paragraph with quotation, the reader may feel disconnected as they are not being explained about the statement. Even before the reader begins to comprehend the information, he/she will lose track of the point as it may seem like a rapid display of ideas. It could be fixed by either paraphrasing a part of that statement or proving our own point of view at the end of it. Stedman also wrote about the “Uncle Barry and His Encyclopaedia of Use-less information” which creates annoyance when a lot of quotes are mentioned in the essay. It clearly means that writer’s opinions are not being displayed, which reduces the reader’s interesting in the topic. Readers are willing to know what the writer has to say, what arguments and counter-arguments do they hold but instead of that what they get to read is a simple copying of ideas from other sources. Readers may feel like they are moving from one point to another without getting complete explanation for it. Summarising or paraphrasing the quotes would be a good idea when we feel that everything is important in a quote which is too long to state.
According to me, the most important one out of all the other annoyances mentioned by Stedman is, “I Swear I Did Some Research”. It outlines how citations are added without clarifying the content that was taken from that source. It is very important to take this point into consideration as, the it is crucial to provide information about what exactly has been cited in a paragraph. We may write four-five sentences and write one citation, which may lead to “patchwriting” i.e., our own statements blend with the statements taken from a source. It can be fixed by mentioning statements before every citation in a specific way, for example, I believe that or I feel like, etc. This will allow the reader to understand the explicit points that the writer added as citation and the ones he wrote himself.