Remember my high dudgeon over my students’ failure to appreciate the convenience and effectiveness of Chicago-style citations? I had my panties in a wad over a stack of papers I collected a few weeks ago, in which about half of the students used (or attempted to use) Chicago-style citations, which I thought I had made a requirement of the essay assignment.
Looking over the essay assignment once again as I sat down to record the grades last night, I noticed this instruction on my essay assignment:
As always, your essay must have a clear argument and use proper citations (either Chicago- or MLA-style is fine, so long as you cite both your primary and your secondary sources faithfully.)
The professor who wrote that essay assignment seems perfectly reasonable! The professor who marked the essays, however, is kind of an idiot. The good news is that 1) the students followed my directions, 2) most cited their sources consistently and appropriately, and 3) they all appear to have done an honest job on their essays.
What a jerk! But I still will stand up for Chicago-style footnotes or endnotes in history papers. I’ll just do a better job next time of RTFM’ing my own assignments.