Citing

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Have you ever wondered how to cite internet material?

This entry will give you some clues how to do it, so that you can avoid committing plagiarism.


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How to Cite a Site

Download Student Activity Sheet(s) for printout in PDF Format

Overview
Students learn how to write bibliographic citations for online sources following the style recommended by the Modern Language Association.

Objectives
  Interpret bibliography citations for professional sites, online newspaper and magazine articles, online reference databases, and home pages
  Recall that citations should be recorded as each site is used

ISTE National Technology Standards
  Performance Indicator # 8

Site Preview
  Preview the sites students will practice citing in this lesson.

Online Resources
  Visit sites providing background information on Homework Help.

Materials
  Activity sheets (2)
  Online computer access


Introduce (offline)
  Tell students that, if they choose sources carefully, cyberspace can be a great place to collect the information they need to write a report.
  Have them relate some online sources of information that they may have used to write reports.
  Discuss and define "bibliography." (a list describing the sources used for a report) Point out that a bibliography should include all sources from which students took information - online as well as offline.

Teach 1 (offline)
  Distribute the activity sheets.
  Explain that the angle brackets < and >, used before and after the URL, are on the comma and period keys of their keyboards.
  Tell students they should provide two dates for each source: the date the source was last updated or "published" and the date the student used the site for research.
  Ask: What generalizations can you make about punctuating the elements of any online citation? (use periods after most elements in the citation; cite two different dates; use angle brackets around the URL)

Teach 2 (online)
  Take students to www.becybersmart.org and click on the diamond. Find the title of this lesson, and open its links.
  Assign each student or group of students one Web page.
  Using the examples on the activity sheets as a guide, have them determine which type of site it is and then write a bibliographic citation.
  Have students compare citations to make sure they are complete and accurate.

Close (offline)
  Ask: What kinds of information should be included in a bibliography of online sources? (author, name of site, name of sponsor, date updated or published, dates used by student, and the site's URL in brackets)
  Ask: Why is it better to record your citations as you do research, rather than waiting until the report is finished? (If you wait, then you may forget what sites you visited, when you visited them, and what page in the site you used.)


Extend (online)
The following activity can be added for students who completed this lesson in a previous grade.
  Have students collaborate to create a bibliography on a theme of their choice. They should search for useful Web sites, then organize their citations into a single bibliography to distribute throughout the school.


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