Easier to index and sort out and find the citation you need. I did it for a paper I had to write in tenth grade. The indexing wasn’t required, the teacher just offered it as a tip in organizing the data so that we could have easy access to it. Some used notebooks. And we did had to give her some pre-work is done bibliography.
When I got to college and had my laptop, I could save the info in a file. And now, I have Endnote.
I also (class of 97) had to do an asston of MLA in high school, which is very weird because I never again encountered it. All the students who come into the library to do their college papers seem to need APA. Oddly, I never see Chicago, but then again I get mostly students who don’t have physical campuses.
Good grief, no. I’m old enough to have done nothing but handwritten essays up to and including my final Bachelor’s degree exams. Content and quality of argument mattered more than citations and print layouts and the like. I didn’t have to think about any of that until I did a Master’s dissertation in my 50s, and even then I seem to remember it was a matter of making sure that however you did it, it was clear and consistent.
Class of 97 also, did MLA in junior and senior years of high school.
Now that 90% of my job is teaching MLA at a community college, I appreciate everyone who got it early and often. For those of you complaining that MLA isn’t relevant, teachers are going to teach what they know, and these are English classes mostly, not science classes, so they’re going to teach MLA. They don’t change.
Yes, the other 10% of my job is teaching APA, in business, nursing, etc.
Kids today, though. Between EasyBib and citation databases, they barely have to do any work. Not like when I was in school, and some teachers used 5th edition MLA, and some used 6th edition, and they were DIFFERENT. Argh.
Keyboarding should also be taught at an early age. We’re getting lots of 18 year olds who have never typed a paper in their life…
God, I never realized how much time I’d spend as a public librarian teaching citation. The thing is, these poor people have never been taught WHY they’re doing all this rigamarole. Once you explain to them what the point is, they have a much easier time with it. (I mean, not all that “running head” business, but the reasons for having a standardized way to cite your sources, and why you’d want to know where a scientist or an author found their information.)
Of course, I get a ton of people going to Two Click U.
Never officially learned it, really–not even in college. It was just “use this style in this class.”
Sure, I’ve done all that stuff, but I didn’t know of MLA as anything other than a way to do citations. And I never really learned that–I had a cheat sheet. Now I’d probably just use an automated tool, where you fill in the important parts and it regurgitates a citation in every style.
BTW, OP: Is he still turning in physical papers, or are they actually requiring these structural aspect on digital papers? The guidelines all seem to be based on things that would make it easier for teachers to grade physical papers.