Teaching Citation Sheets
In elementary school, the idea of the research paper has very little to do with citations and footnotes. As students transition into middle school, however, the ability to reference not only quotations and paraphrasing in the body of the paper but also to list those sources at the end of that paper is a key element of instruction. You can start by giving students a worksheet that breaks down each piece of information required in a bibliography, such as the author's name, the year of publication, the name of the title, and any URL for a web-based site.
Students can now go through one of each type of source, recording the necessary information on the worksheet provided. At the end of this process, you can send students to a website like the Son of Citation Machine. The Son of Citation Machine has the perfect rationale against plagiarizing on the front page of the website. Use it to introduce your lessons on plagiarism.
On the site, students can choose MLA or APA format, although MLA is much more common in middle schools and high schools. The website will take all of that information and put it in the correct format.
Once your students have found their sources for this paper, have them begin to turn in the citation worksheet. Check the information in each field to ensure that students have the right idea and are recording the correct information. Remind students that every book, magazine article, newspaper article and website that contains information that they used in their research must appear on this page.