Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Readers, Writers and Markers

When I am writing a blog post, you will have noted that I am a bit of a referencer. And bilbiographer. I don't know if I would go so far as to say prolific, but I aim to be conscientious, so my readers know what has shaped my thinking.

I have got into this habit from lecturing, as it is normal thing to honour the 'owners' of the ideas you have drawn on, and provide a map back to the sources.

I have got used to reading in text references and enjoy them, but I also like them combined with footnotes for the 'asides'. Any of you who have read the works of satirists, such as Terry Pratchett, will know the value of a great aside.

However, I don't enjoy endnotes. I find they are a bit annoying, as flipping in and out of the main body of work to get clarification is a concentration-breaker for me.

A bibliography adds so much extra depth to any written work, in my view. It gives you, as the reader, a clear map back to the origins of the writer's influences. If the writing has sparked your imagination, you can then go and read those original ideas, and increase your understanding.

Referencing and bibliographies are a form of indexing, which I find to be simple and elegant.

When I write, my references provide me with personal flags to help me remember where an idea came from, and what shaped my thinking at that time. So references aid both readers and writers, in my view... and, if you are a teacher, help you understand the shaping influences in a student's work when you are marking.