old media: October 2008 Archives

Any APA gurus available?

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On a more serious note, I have a question for anyone who has better knowledge of APA style than I (this is a very large category of people, I suspect).

For reasons that will remain mysterious, my book was copyedited into APA style, and rather than have it turned back into MLA, I just went with it. But I'm coming across occasional issues in my MS, given my unfamiliarity with APA. For example, there are several points in the manuscript where I mention someone's reference of other work. For example, I might say that Scholar X builds on Scholar Y's idea of Z, where Z is a perspective or term that has been elaborated over a series of publications. I'm quoting Scholar X, and thus I need to include her in my bibliography and include the pub date in the text itself. I understand that.

But when it's a secondhand reference not to a specific text in the case of Scholar Y, but to one of their ideas that is being applied, adopted, transformed, or whatever in Scholar X's text, do I also need to include the inline parenthetical date for Scholar Y, and include their work in my bib as well?

I have to admit that this feels counter-intuitive to me, and yet, my copyeditor has entered the dreaded (xxxx) after each time I reference a proper name, without (it seems to me, at least) much sensitivity to the context of that proper name. But I'm hesitant to reject it out of hand, given the fact that I don't really know APA style at all, and my forays into the Publication Manual haven't yielded an answer.

Bottom line is that I can suck it up, and just track down the handful of citations that I'd need and include them in my bib--I may just do that anyway to reduce friction. But I am curious, because it's an element of my writing style that I don't think about often--I'm used to casually citing "common knowledge" sorts of ideas without imagining that I need to detail them formally.

Thanks ahead of time if you have an answer.

Jenny already stole most of my thunder, so take what thunder I express in this post, and multiply it by most to get some sense of my frustration. Imagine my surprise yesterday, learning for the first time at Clancy's blog, that CCCC is shopping around for a web editor.

Why might this be insulting? Well, for the last 4 years or so, I've been working on the CCC Online Archive as the Associate/Online Editor for the journal. A few weeks ago, I was informed that my title, without any consultation from me, was now the CCC Online Archivist. I don't really care much about the title, but I do care about being treated like a peon by people (the Executive Committee) who are my colleagues, and for whom I am essentially performing volunteer work. So yes, having my title unilaterally turned from something that sounds official to something that sounds made-up, without even the courtesy of being consulted, is something I construe as insulting.

I presume now that the change was to minimize confusion between my own position and that of the new CCCC Web Editor, which makes a great deal of sense, since this person will be responsible for editing the Web. Oh wait. Never mind.

What is most insulting, though, is that my title was changed as part of a conversation to which I might have had something to contribute, and to which I almost certainly should have been invited. As I said, I first saw the ad yesterday, the day before the deadline.

Why should I be involved? Well, one thing that set back my ongoing redesign and restructuring of the site was the small matter of CCCC changing their link formats, which invalidated hundreds of permalinks on my site. I was never informed of this--I got to find out that my site was broken by testing it. I answer dozens of email inquiries per year on behalf of NCTE related to functions of the journal outside of the purview of my site. I made what I felt at the time were very strong arguments about what CCC and NCTE should be doing with their web presence--a vision that I'm implementing and that our "leadership" seems (at least from the text of their ad) to be ignoring. So yes, even though I host the site externally, my site is impacted by the various decisions that NCTE makes, even when they don't see fit to inform me of them.

I am mildly encouraged by the fact that, some ten or so years into the existence of their website, that CCCC has finally seen fit to consider the site a worthy area of development. I am less encouraged by the fact that no experience appears to be necessary to actually contribute. I am less encouraged by the fact that they ask for a writing sample (?!) as part of the application process. And I am less encouraged by the prospect of a whole new set of CCCCreepy treehouses springing up on the web.

So, since my work on CCCOA hasn't seemed to have made any lasting impact on our "leadership" beyond that of the journal (with whom I've always worked well and happily), allow me to forgo the application process, and offer my vision of what the CCCC website almost certainly will not look accomplish in the near future:

1. The strength of a central, organizational website is directly proportional to its ability to aggregate the interests and contributions of its members.

2. Those interests and contributions are not going to be in the form of legislated community.

The attempts at legislated community on CCC Online failed. The attempts at legislated community on the CCCC blog failed. We are already a community, and we already are full to the brim with locations where we engage in community. There is no nascent community activity waiting breathlessly for a CCCC Facebook page.

3. CCCC is in a position to provide centralized, aggregated content, unavailable anywhere else on the web.

This content could include a great deal more valuable information about the conference, job postings, syllabi, program information, teaching resources, etc. We don't need CCCC to blog, email, tweet, post Facebook pages, host wikis, or anything else like that. All that stuff is already being done by us, for us, better than our organization could ever handle.

4. If CCCC wants a professional web presence, one which does things and offers content that no one else can, and which no individual or group can, I am all for it. And I have no shortage of ideas as to how that can be accomplished. I am currently engaged in the process of accomplishing it.

5. Asking a volunteer to do this is deeply offensive to me, when the expectations that we should have of this position are professional. I am embarrassed for my organization, and I am embarrassed for those on the EC who should know better than this. To imagine that anything worth doing can be done in 5-10 hours a month is to misunderstand the potential value of bringing our organization out of the late 90s.


Like Jenny, I am increasingly frustrated with our organization. I believe that the organization itself is broken in several ways, and this is only the most immediate and recent example, unfortunately.

That is all.



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This page is a archive of entries in the old media category from October 2008.

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