Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Teaching Research in a WikiWorld

One of the things that has frustrated me as a teacher at every level has been getting students to understand what are and are not reliable resources.  Now, The Common Core, has explicitly put into its standards the expectations that students know how to evaluate their sources for reliability and for their usefulness for a given task.

I've been addressing this in my college courses this year by assigning annotated bibliographies.  This allows students to learn a new type of writing- annotating bibliographies, practicing proper citation formatting (either APA or MLA), and evaluating sources on multiple levels.

 CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.8 Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the strengths and limitations of each source in terms of the task, purpose, and audience; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and over-reliance on any one source and following a standard format for citation (

To this end I have created an assignment sheet, rubrics, and sample annotations in the MLA style for teachers in high school and college.  This may also be appropriate in the middle school classroom. Hopefully this packet of information will save you time if you want to do this assignment in your own class.

In the annotated bibliography I ask students to:
  1. Briefly summarize the source
  2. Identify the type of source
  3. Evaluate the credibility
  4. Explain how they may use the source

How do you help your students address these standards?