Citing Blogs

I just posted on how some of my students have been looking at Levi Bryant’s blog (and others related to the course, including Harman’s, Morton’s, Bogost’s, Heidegger’s… right, not Heidegger’s…) And around this time I get a lot of questions about paper formatting, which beyond saying the page length and spacing, I simply don’t care (MLA or APA? Chicago?…). But they also ask about sources. Now, I don’t allow wikipedia, but that’s (hopefully) not a worry at this level. But I specifically turned it around on a student who asked in class if she could cite a blog: I said that’s a good suggestion and that each paper would have to cite one of the interviews this semester and/or one of the blog posts of a writer we covered. I didn’t even think of it as an issue, since though it’s not peer reviewed (peer taunted, but not peer reviewed), it might not count. But if we’re covering a philosopher who I thought good enough to read, does that form matter? I guess the only worry I would have would be someone quoting me from some post I put up late in the night after reading other posts from the day…

One comment

  1. It’s a question with no one right answer. It’s important that everyone (not just students) think about what a particular blog post is doing… is it a thorough argument? Is it an off-the-cuff thought? Is it a provocation whose contents the author may not really believe? It’s probably often necessary to talk about the function a blog post is serving when citing it, since it’s not enough even to say “it’s a blog post” (as one might say “it’s a journal article”). Unfortunately, it’s annoying to have to do such metadiscursive work in an article, and it probably feels artificial.

    FWIW, this happens on the internet in general too. Last week I wrote a thousand words or so on Apple and computational literacy, and before I knew it the piece had 15,000 views. Certainly if I’d known that would have happened I would have gone about the writing somewhat differently.

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