Level: Elementary school, Middle school
Notes: Citations are in MLA 8th edition
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Plagiarism: It’s a tough word for young students to read and understand, but it also comes with some scary consequences. Consequences can include teacher, parent, and/or administrator intervention, a failed grade, and in some cases, even school expulsion. The best way to prevent it? Teach your students, while they’re at a young age, to be responsible researchers. Teaching your students to include citations in their research projects is an essential, lifelong skill that will prevent plagiarism, provide self-confidence in the creation and submission of a research project, and also keep those scary consequences for them at bay.
Citations for Beginners was developed to help young researchers understand:
- what plagiarism is
- why citations are created (to acknowledge or give credit to the original author, to allow others to find the source themselves, and to demonstrate to your instructor that you’re capable of locating high quality resources)
- the format and components of a citation in MLA format
- the purpose of using citation generator websites, such as EasyBib, to develop citations
Use this video in a whole group setting to serve as an introduction to the citation process, assign students to watch it at home for homework as a “flipped classroom” activity, or collaborate with your school librarian to develop extension activities. The possibilities are endless and learning about citations is vital to becoming a responsible and ethical researcher.
Believe it or not, elementary students aren’t too young to use citation generator websites, such as EasyBib.com. Its simple design allows for young students to quickly and easily cite their sources. Students are capable of creating citations for books, websites, magazine articles, videos, and many other sources they may use while researching. Students can copy and paste the citations into their research project or export them to their Google Docs or Microsoft Word template.
Looking for more videos to help with the research process? Be on the lookout for more coming your way! We’re planning on rolling out videos related to the research process and plagiarism in the months to come! Subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to receive our new and exciting resources for educators.
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It can sometimes be difficult to find out who the author of a website is. Remember that an author can be a corporation or group, not only a specific person. Author information can sometimes be found under an "About" section on a website.
If there is no known author, start the citation with the title of the website instead.
The best date to use for a website is the date that the content was last updated. Otherwise look for a copyright or original publication date. Unfortunately this information may not be provided or may be hard to find. Often date information is put on the bottom of the pages of a website.
If you do not know the complete date, put as much information as you can find. For example you may have a year but no month or day.
Date of access is now optional in MLA 8th edition. If no publication date is included, we recommend including the date you last accessed the site.