"Teaching Citation and Documentation Norms" (post; pdf) presents an overview, general considerations, and nine specific, in-class activities which are useful "when teaching students the citation norms in your discipline."
"[A]ctivities can be designed to discourage plagiarism and to help students identify the rhetorical value of citations."
- "[A]ddress the issues of avoiding plagiarism and producing proper formatting first, in order to relieve student anxieties about these questions."
- "[T]hen move on to helping students see how they can use citation norms to position themselves within a larger scholarly discourse."
A. Overview: Two Approaches
1. "[F]ocus primarily on avoiding plagiarism and producing appropriately formatted in-text citations and reference lists."
- "[P]referable if you have limited time available."
2. "[U]se a discussion of citation norms as an opportunity to help students become more aware of how those norms function rhetorically within your scholarly community."
- "[A]llow[s] for deeper understanding of how to interpret and produce key scholarly moves."
B. General Considerations
1. What "undergraduates at all levels don’t necessarily understand"
- "How to integrate in-text citations properly"
- "How to format reference lists and understand the logic behind the formatting rules"
- "How to determine what kind of sources they are working with ... and where to locate key identifying information to cite"
- "That ... the cobbling together of snippets gathered from many sources is plagiarism"
- "What counts as common knowledge in your discipline and what needs to be cited"
2. "[O]ther crucial tasks that students might not immediately recognize"
- "Providing research aid to those studying similar questions"
- "Establishing credibility—showing that one has read and understood key works"
- "Drawing attention to the contributions of others"
- "Signaling original contributions—citing work by others in order to highlight what is new in one’s own"
C. Teaching Activities
1. Walk students through a published journal article in your field.
- "Ask them to describe the in-text citations they see."
- "When—if ever—are authors’ names introduced within sentences ('According to Brown and White…')?"
- "[W]hen are they tucked into parentheses '(Brown and White, 1999)'?"
- "Help them interpret the significance of these differences."
2. "Ask students to describe and interpret the patterns they see in a reference list or bibliography."
- "What characteristics appear first? What appears second?"
- "Why might these things appear in the order they do?"
3. "Give students a selection of sources to cite, along with a citation guide."
- "Ask them to produce, individually or in groups, a properly formatted reference list."
- "Make sure some of sources are unusual—compact discs, comic strips, data from a government web site—and that others lack explicit labels for key identifiers such as volume or issue number."
- "Help students figure out how to cite these works as questions arise."
4. "Have students read a paragraph built from patchwork plagiarism and then another version of that paragraph that has been properly paraphrased and cited."
- "Ask the students, individually or in groups, to rewrite and properly cite another paragraph of patchwork."
5. "Provide a set of facts, concepts, or arguments, including some that should be documented and others that count as common knowledge."
- "Ask the students, individually or in groups, to decide which is which and explain why."
6. "Give students a specific research question to address."
- "Provide a single, relevant article that includes at least two relevant references as a starting point."
- "[A]sk them to generate a list of 10-15 other possible resources by working their way through a 'tree' of reference lists that branches off from the original two."
7. "Ask students to choose a field in which they consider themselves experts. (This doesn’t have to be academic.)"
- "What lack of knowledge would prevent them from taking others seriously in this realm, and why?"
- "Share with them some key texts or ideas that play a crucial role in establishing your own respect for other scholars."
- "What omissions would prevent you from taking others seriously, and why?"
8. "Talk to students about your own academic genealogy—the scholars to whom you are indebted."
- "How do you fit into a larger picture of scholarly exchange?"
- "How do you acknowledge your academic debts in your own writing?"
9. "Walk your students through a paragraph or two of a published text from your field."
- "Note the signaling moves that convey transitions between acknowledging research contributions of the past ... to original contributions the writers make in the present study."