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Spring Gillard
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Syllabi Blues

I attended an American Community Gardening conference in Toronto one year. There were some academics there talking a blue streak, foci flying fast and furious. I ended up poking fun at this plural form of focus during my keynote speech. I never wanted to be someone who casually tossed out Latin nouns. Well, here I am smack dab in academia and wouldn’t you know, foci-a-plenty. Syllabi too.

Students get a syllabus with each course, basically an outline, with a list of assignments and readings. One of the first things we are told is how important it is to use correct citations in our assignments. There are many different styles to use when citing another author’s work within your paper and in the bibliography at the end. Often the American Psychological Association (APA) style is recommended.

Apparently APA is only recommended for students and not professors. There have been so many problems with the reading list citations in both of my course syllabuses that I’m beginning to think it’s an educational strategy. I’ve actually had to learn how to search on the on-line library. But I am steadfast in my refusal to use these pompous plurals. So far. Well except for this blog post.

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