Handling Citations Pat
As a librarian and doctoral candidate, I must admit that I am semi-obsessive on the subject of citations. While most students understand the importance of citing print materials, they often consider information and pictures on the Internet to be public domain. In reality, many web sites contain copyrighted information and even sites without copyrights reflect the thoughts of the author. Therefore, I try to teach my students (and adults) that it is not acceptable to "lift" information directly from the Internet.
Here are some tips for students on using information:
At the most basic, be certain to cite sources. This is a common courtesy to the person who has compiled the information. In addition, it can be difficult to ascertain what information is legitimate. Taking the time to cite the source forces the user to think about the quality and reliability of the source.
If pictures or text are copyrighted, please contact the owner for permission to use them. Most authors will grant single permission for personal, not-for-profit use, especially for students, but it is essential to ask first.
When citing for a research paper, be sure to find out if the instructor or publisher wants APA, MLA, etc. The formats of these citations vary.
General research tips:
Make the process as simple as possible. Write the information down as you research or make photocopies of the title pages of the magazines you use. This will save you time later.
Learn the format for citing the type of source you're using. Books, magazines, web sites, etc., are cited differently.
Put your sources in alphabetical order on the bibliography page.
Good places to look for citation formats;
Davis Schwartz Memorial Library:
This site offers lots of information on how to correctly cite information in both APA and MLA formats, as well as links to find more information. One great advantage of this site is that it breaks down citations to grade-appropriate levels. A full APA citation is a little much to ask of most primary students but they are certainly capable of learning the fundamentals.
Pleasant Ridge School Web Site:
This intermediate school offers a page of citation examples. It was developed by a librarian with many years of experience in helping children learn to cite sources.