Barbara Fister’s “Why the ‘Research Paper’ Isn’t Working” touches on something that gave me a very hard time when I first returned to school—citations. Until I got used to HOW I was supposed to cite things—meaning after I bought the better citation handbook by Diana Hacker—I was terrified to quote lest I did something wrong when I got to the “Works Cited” section, looming over me with all those specific rules, at the end. Fister’s love of the idea presented by Nick Carbone: “…students first learn to write using sources the way people outside academia do—drawing them into the text as journalists and essayists do” is shared by my former freshman self.
Practice makes everything become easier and the process, unfortunately, has to be learned. From recent experience I can attest that waiting does not make it any better.