“Annoying Ways People Use Sources” Reflection

I believe that everyone knows someone in their life who is way too overdramatic and overemotional about a certain topic or subject. If you’ve ever seen the show American Horror Story, in season 7 (Cult) episode 1 (Election Night), the character Ally and her neighbors are perfect examples of over-emotional and over-dramatic as  Trump wins the election and they begin to cry and yell at each other for not voting. This attitude and tone is what Stedman uses throughout his entire article, “Annoying Ways People Use Sources.” Due to this, it’s very difficult to take Stedman’s opinion seriously, but pushing past this, there are some topics that he mentions that I find interesting. When he discusses the effects of too many quotations and too little self-observation and about how to correct grammar when integrating a quote, I was able to pull some usefulness out of his opinions.

Plagiarism-especially in college-is a major issue and for me personally, I’m terrified that one day I will forget to cite a source and get caught plagiarizing, when in reality I didn’t mean to. For reasons like this, I believe that it leads students to do just what Stedman is so annoyed about: listing a bunch of quotations and never put an input or expansion on those ideas. Essays have been compromised because students are just writing papers that basically just end up promoting other author’s ideas. The whole purpose of essays is to explore a small idea already exists and expand it, rethink it, and redesign it. If every essay that students wrote only consisted of what Stedman describes as, “diving boards,” no one would be interested and ideas would just recycle over and over. Yet, many students aren’t necessarily taught how to achieve this. Yes, in the many years of education, english teachers and professors are always assigning essay’s that are designed to pull the student’s own ideas out onto paper, but many struggle with this aspect. Students get frustrated because they aren’t sure of how to come up with a new, inventive idea of their own because they don’t know where to start. Just when they do begin to come up with something, they hit delete because they think, “No, this person already said something along those lines.”     Why not take the easy route then and quote those ideas over and over. Stedman would agree that people would rather set up diving board after diving board, because it’s easier than digging the pool.

A common incorrect stereotype is the phrase,”Dumb blonde.” As a joke, I often think of myself as a “dumb blonde” during certain moments, and I experienced another one of these moments while reading Stedman’s article. In the past, i’ve read quotations in other papers and gotten confused because there are random square brackets around different words. I’ve never realized or known what they were for until after I read the section, “Am I in the Right Movie? failing to integrate a quotation into the grammar of the preceding sentence” (Stedman 249). Overall, Stedman’s article is slightly ridiculous, because I find it hard to relate to his angry over incorrect sourcing and if anything it’s just humorous. Yet, setting his emotions aside, there are a few helpful ideas like avoiding adding too many quotations and how to correct grammar that make Stedman’s article worth giving a glance.

“Election Night.” American Horror Story, season 7, episode 1, Netflix, 19 Sep. 2018. Netflix,https://www.netflix.com/watch/80204948?trackId=14170287&tctx=0%2C0%2Ccbc69a24-cb1a-43d1-b601-1ed40f583cda-113756314%2C366e4fa6-19cd-4446-b6f8-581e491357f0_12022500X3XX1541799484820%2C366e4fa6-19cd-4446-b6f8-581e491357f0_ROOT.


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