MLA: Mr. Miyagi Style

crane technique
Hopefully my students MLA-fu will look like this.

Working in MLA citations is always a pain in the rear for me. It’s more of a chore than a inspiring pedagogical undertaking. It’s hard to make students who don’t have any real investment in academia appreciate the reasoning and importance of MLA citations. This year I decided to take a different angle.

Now, I’m usually the kind of teacher that tries to show the big picture and really make students understand the rationale for everything prior to teaching the small steps. This year I decided to go the Mr. Miyagi route. I’m having my students keep an annotated bibliography in MLA format for everything we read. We’ll do this with any selection we use for whole class instruction, book club books, and independent reading books. I hope that through this constant “wax on” and “wax off” of making MLA works cited entries that the chore of MLA will become second nature.

If all goes well, when the time comes, my students will bust out their Daniel-san Crane Stance and kick some Cobra-kai butt on the works cited pages of their big MLA research papers.


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