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Style Guides: Trick or Treat?

September 27, 2013

To celebrate the fall season and its most exciting holiday– Halloween!– we here at The Revisioner will be presenting articles on the ghoulish holiday, demonstrating different style guides (APA, MLA, CSE) along the way. Our first set of articles is on perhaps the best aspect of Halloween: dressing up in costumes! Each article, though the same content, follows a different style guide’s conventions. The first shows MLA style, and the second shows APA. Happy Halloween! 

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MLA

“What are you going to be for Halloween?” is a question that begins circulating among friends even before October arrives. Finding the right costume requires a spark of creativity and a little bit of luck. In 2012, the top costumes were witches, vampires, and zombies (Handwerk n.p.). In 2013, the results will likely be similar. I remain hopeful that zombies will ultimately top the list. Although costumes appear to be “just for fun,” they express a complexity that one might take for granted. Researchers Donald Hill, Cynthia Jasper, and Kimberly Miller found that “the wearing of a costume on Halloween was perceived as contributing to the distinction between Halloween and a typical night out: nearly 56% of the students who wore a costume perceived Halloween as different” (812). In this case, dressing up distinguishes Halloween as a special event; however, costumes have influential power beyond how they look. According to Brian Handwerk, costumes allow “young men [to dress] as women and vice versa, marking a temporary breakdown of normal social divisions” (n.p.). Costumes are a form of social commentary and perhaps, even a critique of society. Although Halloween is often not addressed so seriously, it can be an outlet for frustrations with ideology. Of course, finding the right costume—whether to rally against ideology or to simply have fun—can be challenging. To resolve this tricky situation, Appalachian State turned to its theater department for a real treat. In The Appalachian Online, Jacqueline Scott reported that theater majors sold costumes for “a lot cheaper and better than anything someone can get elsewhere in Boone” (Scott para. 10). Whether from the theater department or from a super-store, costumes help to create and enliven the spirit of Halloween.

Handwerk, Brain. “Halloween 2012: Top costumes, History, Myths,

        More. National Geographic. National Geographic, 29 Oct. 2012. 

        Web. 20 September 2013.

Miller, Donald R., Jasper, Cynthia R., and Kimberly A. Miller. “Costume and the Perception of

        Identity and Role.” Perceptual and Motor Skills 72.3 (1993): 807-813. Web. 

Scott, Jacqueline. “One of a Kind Halloween Costumes Sold in Student

        Union.” The Appalachian Online. Appalachian Online, 17 Oct. 2007. Web.

        20 September 2013.

 

 

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