This Article is About
citations
s education
assertion
conversations
mechanics
confusion
parents
Teaching Your Child How To Master Citations
Join 1000's of Authors at StreetArticles Today!

It took my youngest son quite a while to master the use of citations. To be fair, I must admit that it was more than the pure mechanics of using citations that figured in his getting a grasp on using them effectively. It wasn’t until I had many conversations with other parents, teachers and homeschoolers, that I finally realized what needed to be done in order for us to get a handle on the problem. It is often difficult for young people to distinguish between their own opinions and substantiated facts.

My son, for example, had a tough time understanding that it was not enough to merely make an assertion just because he saw it written down “somewhere”. It wasn’t until he was repeatedly pressed to say where the facts came from, and to distinguish what were his own original ideas from those of other authors that he’d read that he began to get a sense of the importance of precisely determining the authority of the information he was using. Once he clearly distinguished his versus others’ ideas, he was better able to understand why it was important to “give credit where credit was due”, so to speak.

There is often confusion in young people in how works cited differ from bibliographies. Both terms have to do with referencing information that support written work, but bibliographies refer to consulted sources that may or may not actually be used, whereas citations refer to material that is always directly used in an essay or paper. I think that an additional factor muddying the distinction between the two terms is that bibliographies are often encountered first in a child’s education and citations only later.

Not only are there dozens of types of citations, but there are also many different citation “styles”. This can be especially troubling in the homeschool environment, because you often have to make a choice from similar styles with considerable overlap. The main citation styles are as follows:

• The APA Style is compiled by the American Psychological Association, and is often used to cite references in the fields of psychology and the social sciences.

• The ASA Style is from the American Sociological Association, and is often used in the fields of sociology and related disciplines.

• The MLA Style is developed by the Modern Language Association of America, and is often preferred in the study of literature, the arts, the humanities, and other academic subjects.

• The Chicago Style is compiled by the University of Chicago Press, and is often used in the study of history and other academic studies.

• The Blubook Style is compiled from the Harvard Law Review Association, the Columbia Law Review, the University of Pennsylvanis Law Review, and the Yale Law Journal; it is often preferred by law schools in the U.S.

• The ALWD Style is compiled by the Associateion of Legal Writing Directors, and is often preferred for use in court documents.

• The Harvard Style ia a parenthetical referencing style in which partial citations, for example: (Doe 2011, p.10), are enclosed within parentheses; it is preferred for college or university reference work.

• The Vancouver Style is compiled by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, and is preferred for use in medical, dental and biomedical journals.

It’s best to pick a single citation style, one that covers most of the kinds of subjects your child will be writing about, and stick to that one.  For the academic subjects that are typical in most homeschool environments, I recommend using the MLA Style. The MLA Style covers 36 types of citations in three broad categories:

• Books and other non-periodical publications,

• Articles and other publications in periodicals, and

• Electronic resources

The MLA electronic resources citation type includes eBooks, eMails, and Web sites. These are especially useful for citing information sources that your child will encounter online. One problem that came up repeatedly for online information sources was when another citation type was referred to “inside of” a Web site source. For example, what do you do when a book or a journal is referred to inside of a Web site reference? After a bit of research, we have found that is it best to first list the inside citation type, and then to “append” the Web site citation type at the end.

Here is an example from Chapter Five, "GNR: Three Overlapping Revolutions" of Ray Kurzweil’s 2005 book “The Singularity is Near" When Humans Transcend Biology”:

Citation 4, p. 206: Robert Waterston , “Scientists Reveal Complete Sequence of Human Genome”,CBC News, Apr 14, 2003, "< CBC News Web site link inserted here >"

You can see here that the April 14th, 2003 CBC news progaram reference is embedded in the CBC News Web site link.  Books, newspaper articles and other citation types can also be "nested" in Web site citations in this way.

There is no greater satisfaction than seeing a difficult problem yield to an effective solution. At the beginning of last summer, after pre-testing revealed that my son needed remedial work in preparation for his senior year high school writing assignments, I noticed that it took him an average of three to five hours t complete short essays of about a page or so. But by summer’s end, after using a four-step essay writing technique that we developed together, he was able to produce complete works, fully researched and correctly cited, in about an hour!

Mastering the proper use of citations was pivotal in bringing this about. Sharing stories such as this and the similar achievements of others are some of the reasons why Academic Boot Camp Tips was created. We invite you to participate in our community as we engage in this most satisfying adventure in learning.


Street Talk

No comments present
You May Also Like
What Are Citations and the Rules You Must Follow
Citations are the true backbone of your local search and Google Places listing. Don’t expect your website or Places listing to rank very well without them! What are citations? A citation is information from your website and/or your business that is listed on other internet content holders like directories and…
By: Vincent Lewis in  Internet and Businesses Online  >  SEO   Aug 22, 2011  
0
  Likes: 2

Defensive Driving Rant
I was lucky enough to grow up during a time when driver's education was a complete course offered in High School. We were taught "The Rules of the Road." This course taught not only how to be a law abiding driver, but also, a safe and courteous one. It seems…
By: Brad R. Campbell in  News and Society  >  Pure Opinion   Feb 25, 2012  
0
  Likes: 1

Affirmations for Money
Why do we need affirmations for money? You don't, unless you need money! And do you want to keep the money you have? Do you feel confident you will always have enough money? Do you need money for a special purpose, like your child's education? We all have beliefs about…
By: Jane Eyre in  Self Improvement  >  Inspirational   Mar 09, 2012  
3
  Likes: 4

How to Pick A Fun And Engaging Driver’s Ed Class?
Technology has become a way of life and it has now extended to the realm of driver’s education class. Taking the class out of the traditional face-to-face classroom requires adjusting the curriculum to meet online learners’ needs. As most of the driver’s education students are around the age of 15.5…
By: Leo Garcia in  Reference and Education  >  Online Education   May 17, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Financial Strength For Your Childs Future
Live in the now! To be healthy, physcially and mentally, one, must do just that. When it comes to managing money, that may not always be the best advice. There is nothing wrong with splurging on certain purchases here and there. But consistently saving money is the only way to…
By: Scott Oberholser in  Finance  >  Personal Finance   Aug 09, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Saving For Your Child’s College
These days education is one of the most important things a parent can give to their child. Although college used to be the difference between a good job and blue collar work, the widespread nature of enrollment and graduation has somewhat diluted the novelty of the diploma. Nonetheless, getting a…
By: David Schmidt in  Finance  >  Debt Management   Jul 14, 2012  
17
  Likes: 6

An Embarrassing Confession
I am pretty sure that if #Fears was trending on Twitter one day, my fear would not be among those listed. Viewers who clicked on this trending topic would find fears such as snakes, dogs, diseases, and possibly even dying. They would probably not find my fear listed there, however.…
By: Hollie E. Townsend in  Self Improvement   Jul 27, 2015  
2
  Likes: 3

Why Get Life Insurance
Why get life insurance is a question many people ask. After all, most employers provide a policy as one of the employee benefits. So what invest in more? There are many reasons why someone should get life insurance, but they are not the same for everyone. To decide if you…
By: Evelyn Puerto in  Insurance  >  Life Annuities   May 11, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Dyslexia In UK Primary Schools
My child is dyslexic, he’s been assessed by a trained psychologist and has a very detailed, in depth report. With this I mistakenly thought the primary school he attends would take his learning difficulties seriously and provide him with the support he actually needs to succeed in his education and…
By: Vicky3 in  Reference and Education  >  Special Education   Dec 05, 2011  
0
  Likes: 1

Choosing the Right Investment Strategies for Young People
It would be correct to say that there is not one investment strategy which is suitable for everyone, but the dilemma of choosing the right investment strategies for young people is particularly difficult because of their varied needs. Because they will often have different plans for their money, it may…
By: Don Meyer in  Investing  >  Stocks   Apr 17, 2011  
0
  Likes: 1

Car Insurance for New Drivers
Many people are not prepared for how costly car insurance for new drivers can be. The two biggest questions people have are how much insurance do I need to get, and how can I save money on it. Whether you are buying insurance for an adult who hasn’t had insurance…
By: Evelyn Puerto in  Insurance  >  Car Auto   May 16, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

How I Turned A Son’s Academic Disaster Into A Success Story
It never occurred to me that I would have to directly intervene in my son’s education. Like most parents, I thought the public school system was all I would need to rely on to prepare my youngest son for his life as an adult. Sure, I’d have to oversee the…
By:  in  Reference and Education  >  Home Schooling   Sep 26, 2011  
0
  Likes: 4

Learning Mandarin Language is Not That Tedious Task
Mandarin is one of the most spoken languages on the planet. Due to globalization it has become the most popular and official language in the world. There is common perception that it is a very difficult and confusing language that is why people do not dare to learn it. But…
By: Muhammad Mazhar in  Reference and Education  >  Home Schooling   Apr 27, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Journalism : Never Ending
What is Journalism? It is commonly defined as an act of writing for publication in newspapers and other periodicals, embracing all thoughts and actions that have significance and interest to the readers. It is also considered as the “first rough draft of history”. What does it mean? It means that…
  Likes: 0

Article Views: 1356    Report this Article