one of the things i'm doing for one of the chapters of this dissertation is examining a handful of popular handbooks & textbooks to look at what our assigned texts tell students about our beliefs regarding sources of authority--their own authority as writers and the authority of others that source-use in research writing seeks to invoke. doing this requires pouring over the books at a microscopic level, asking questions like "what language, exactly, do these writers use to tell students why they're citing sources in the first place?" <--do we tell them it's a way of entering into broader conversations? a way to prove we know what we know by revealing where we've been? an ass-saving shield to avoid being charged with plagiarism? (i've come across all of these portrayals, actually...)
outside of the specifics of what each writer or group of writers says about x, though, whichever-x, it has to be indicative of something inherent to the nature of these books that even skimming--let alone close reading--the handbook we've been using here for the past few years makes me wish the pages weren't waxy-shiny because i'd really like to set the thing on fire, and reading through the latest edition of Hacker makes me long for a classroom to get back into so i can put my hands on this stuff and teach some writing.