I got a paper back in my literature class yesterday. I did quite well, but had numerous marks noting my failure to adhere to the various idosyncracies of the approved Modern Language Association style. The fine folks at MLA have gotten together and decided such things as that we ought to double space our papers, indent our paragraphs five spaces, and make parenthetical source citations sans commas, please. I don't do too well with this, because, mostly, I have no idea what I'm supposed to be doing. I look up guidelines online as questions occur to me, but, of course, many of these questions never do and never would occur to me.
There is a simple solution to all this.
However, apparently, although I'm willing to spend thousands and thousands of dollars on my higher education, I draw a firm line at spending $17.50 to purchase my own copy of the MLA style guide.