Editors, how do you feel about including eNotes' reference links to eNotes' resource pages in your answers?
I'm prompted to ask because I just wrote the following in response to a student's query about how to get to eNotes' resource pages:
The first free way [to access eNotes' resource pages] has 2 parts to it. When you read an answer on eNotes, you will usually (but sadly not always) find hyperlinked blue reference links at the bottom of the answer. Click whatever link is there and you will be directed to the most relevant eNotes' resource page or pages that you can then read for free.
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I usually do include an enotes reference link when a student asks a factual question. I realize that most of these are also in Wikipedia, and sometimes I include enotes Wikipedia links in my response. Sometimes I point out the most relevant details.
I didn't realize that students were limited in their access to the various eNotes links. I do try to add three links in each post, and I will be more careful to do so in my subsequent answers. I occasionally add extra links within the post so the student has as much access to info as possible.
Maybe I'm too new with editing, but I not infrequently find myself dealing with a question for which I cannot locate any appropriate link(s) within eNotes. These are often fairly narrow or specific questions that are quite answerable and I do provide links to the resources I have used from the internet, trying to make them as close to original sources of information as possible while I'm at it. But it is a challenge at times, and I wish I understood the whole process better.
I try to include a link to eNotes any time I can find a reference to the material I am dealing with. If not, I try to link another site as reference. Also, when providing a link, it provides better service to the students and teachers we are here to help. I just think that the more information we give to them the better the site looks.
Overall the eNotes links are pretty good source information, but I do like to include outside research from academic sources and periodicals when I can. I find I am more likely to do that when I need to research the answer to a question more thoroughly than normal, or when there are statistics and quotes involved. Sometimes the eNotes search function is a bit hit and miss as far as easily finding the best links. I do like the new "claim" feature on questions, so we can take our time and do a more thorough job without worrying about whether we will lose credit for the answer.
I have been with eNotes since 2005, and have always tried to follow the rules as set by the website hosts. However, the rules and regulations have changed so much and frequently that it is often difficult to remember every one...maybe that's just because I've been around for awhile and (to quote my husband) am a creature of habit. It is not often easy to retrain my brain once I've learned it one way and then the "way" is altered.
I agree, though, that links should be included in every question post...are they also expected in discussion posts? The only way to truly help a student is to go above and beyond the information requested by that student which includes giving links to additional information.
Like most of your posters above, I include them when I can find something relevant to their question. Sometimes, what I answer comes from personal knowledge, though, and there is not an appropriate link on enotes that elaborates on that information further.
It is a good idea, however, to do so. The more information we can give the students to disseminate, the better.
In my own personal experience, I often learn more from clicking the links than I do in reading the answer to the question! Therefore, I really love the practice of posting eNotes links! In this way, I have been alerted to study guides that I never new existed, lesson plans that I didn't know we had, and even wikipedia pages that correspond to eNotes content.
I have a feeling that if an eNotes Staff Review Editor has had this experience, ... our students must be gaining a wealth of information as well. (Not to mention those avidly interesting links are an encouragement to purchase premium membership!)
I agree with #9! I always manage to learn something from the enotes links! I always try to include as many links as possible to a given question, as it is something that is very easy and quick to do, and is something that will help the student gain a fuller understanding of their question than I can give them in the space we have to provide an answer. It places the responsibility of further study on their shoulders.
Per #7's question, I would love to have a links option for discussion posts. Many of the discussions here are based as much in fact as in opinion,and pasting a link address into the text is awkward at best. It would, in my opinion, add to the educational value of the site if hyperlinks from discussion posts were easily available.
In Q&A, I do try to find enotes links - I've found that often there is an enotes page that provides a nice background lecture on the topic. For more specific information, like the source of a statistic or a quote, I usually include non-enotes links. I wish the links didn't rearrange themselves into alphabetical order, however, as it makes it a pain when trying to direct the reader how to find the source material.
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