(I'm actually feeling pretty happy...but there are a couple of things getting under my skin...)
It is appalling to me, what students do with citations. I know I posted, moaning, about this in November when I was grading papers. But I'm back to it because I'm grading research papers again. And I just can't get over this.
I've always directed students, in the syllabus, to the citation style I require. I provide them with a link to its online presence. I also refer them to X Manual of Style in the library, if they prefer. The syllabus says that they will lose marks if they do not correctly use the style. Because really, how hard is it to look it up and follow the directions??!!
This term, with my FOURTH-YEAR class, I required proposals/bibliographies. They came in with almost nobody - about 2 of 10 students, I think - doing the citations correctly. I was so frustrated. But then I decided, okay, I'll spoon-feed them. I photocopied the bloody citation instructions for them!! I just didn't want to deal with this nonsense anymore.
Now I have the final essays. Has one of the four I've read so far done all the citations properly?? NO!!! When I handed them out examples! And they're upper-year students!!!! Most of them are doing positively kooky things that have no relation whatsoever to any style.
You know, this just strikes me as the plainest example of the handbasket-hell equation.