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Citation Wizard Assessment Guide

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The IMSA Citation Wizard is a tool with several purposes.

First, students may use it to create properly formatted citations without having to look up formatting guidelines. Making it easy to create good citations is important if we want to encourage students always to cite the sources they use. The 21CIF Citation Wizard provides options for four citation styles: Modern Language Association (MLA), American Psychological Association (APA), Chicago Style, and Council of Biology Editors (CBE). Other free Citation tools are available on the Internet and serve a similar purpose.

A second purpose is to help students build complete citations. By clicking View Citation, the formatted citation is compiled, which may include a placeholder for information that is missing. For example, in the case of the 21CIF Citation Wizard, if information about the publisher has not been entered, the following reference is included in the citation: ** publisher **. This prompts students to track down that information--if available--before they copy and paste the reference into their paper. Minor editing may be required--for example, if a document title ends with a question mark, the default punctuation that the Wizard uses (.) should be removed.

A third purpose is to help educators assess whether students are able to find a) required information AND b) cite it correctly. Included in this Kit is an online Citation Assessment which is a preliminary step in the direction of using the Citation Wizard. The activity offers a means to assess students' ability to locate information necessary for a citation. The assessment consists of a pair of search challenges at four difficulty levels: beginner, beginner to intermediate, intermediate and intermediate to advanced. The solutions for finding the required information are printed below. In all but the beginner level, finding the author, publisher, document title, web page title, and publication date may take some digging. Where this is the case, we have noted how the information may be found. The intermediate to advanced problems are quite difficult and require longer explanations.

Using either the online Citation Assessment or the Citation Wizard, refer to the tables below to assess students' skills in citing sources. Assign them a challenge level (or have them pick their own).

Be aware that there may be more than one right answer when it comes to naming the publisher and titles of documents and webpages. Online is murkier than print in this regard. We have taken the following positions about citing the publisher and titles:

Publisher: In the case of personal web pages, it can be hard to decide who is the publisher. While the owner of the host site and the person who posted the page may both be responsible for the information that appears, we consider the person who posts unendorsed information to be the publisher. This applies to cases where a hosting service takes no responsibility for the information its clients post. Examples include universities that make space available for faculty and students (indicated by ~ in the url) and sites such as angelfire, geocities, bravehost and myspace that make no claims about the credibility of the information found on their sites. NOTE that of the choices below, only MLA style makes this an issue; Chicago and APA styles do not require naming the publisher of online information.

Titles: To be consistent, we prefer to use the words at the top of the page that look like a title. If that is unavailable, then we use the page <title> information found in the Source Code.

Students may print out their citations from the Wizard or the results page from the online Assessment and hand it in so you can see how they did. The score given in the online version of the assessment merely reflects the number of items successfully found for the two challenges--the percentage score should not be used as the basis for a grade. If partial information was entered, or formatted incorrectly (e.g., a document title using ALL CAPS), it is noted on the report page.

Note: web page information and content is subject to change beyond our control. If you discover any information has changed, please let us know and we will amend the assessment.

Citation 1


Search Notes

Ability Level: Beginner

Found on the page: Author, Publisher, Date, Document Title.

For Website title, truncate to www.scholastic.com/; option: accept The Stacks, taken from the banner on article page, or scholastic.com, taken from Page Source <title>.

Author Tiffany Chaparro
Title Healthy Soda?
Web page Scholastic New Online
Publisher Scholastic Inc.
Date 7 Mar. 2007
URL http://content.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=11653

Citation 2


Search Notes

Ability Level: Beginner Lord of the Rings

Found on the page: Author (at top of article), Publisher (see copyright owner), Date (found at the top), Document Title. Web page title is the same as the article.


Author Walter Chaw
Title and Web page The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
Publisher Film Freak Central
Date 6 Dec. 2001
URL http://www.filmfreakcentral.net/ffc/2012/12/the-lord-of-the-rings-the-fellowship-of-the-ring.html

Citation 3


Search Notes

Ability Level: Beginner to Intermediate

Found on the page: Author, Publisher (see copyright), Date, Document Title.



Author Noah Wilson-Rich
Title The Mysterious Case of the Disappearing Bees
Web page What's Next
Publisher CNN
Date 11 May 2012
URL http://whatsnext.blogs.cnn.com/2012/05/11/the-mysterious-case-of-the-disappearing-bees/

Citation 4


Search Notes

Ability Level: Beginner to Intermediate

Found on the page: Author, Date, Publisher, Document Title


Author David G. Brown
Title and Web page The Last Log of the Titanic
Publisher Encyclopedia Titanica
Date January 31, 2001
URL http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/last-log-of-the-titanic.html

Citation 5


Search Notes

Ability Level: Intermediate Lunar eclipse wows sky watchers

Found on the page: Publisher, Date, Document Title, Website title.

No Author can be found.

Author none
Title Lunar eclipse wows sky watchers
Web page BBC News
Publisher British Broadcasting Corporation
Date 4 March 2007
URL http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6411991.stm

Citation 6


Search Notes

Ability Level: Intermediate Piano Keys

Found on the page: Document Title.

For Author and Publisher, use Whois.net to look up ownership or search Google for the name of the website. Kevin Brown or Math Pages may be the publisher. Other evidence (publications) on thWeb site also points to Kevin Brown.

For Website title, truncate URL to mathpages.com/.

For Date, use PAGE INFO to find the date the page was last modified.

Author Kevin Brown
Title and Web page Piano Keys
Publisher Math Pages (Kevin Brown)
Date 20 July 2008
URL http://www.mathpages.com/home/kmath043.htm

Citation 7


Search Notes

Ability Level: Intermediate to Advanced The Snowblower Problem

Found on the page: Document Title, Authors names. Because there are four authors and only three places in the Citation Wizard, the fourth needs to be added in the final citation. Copying and pasting will not work in this case, unless the footnotes are removed and names formatted correctly according to preferred style.

This is a PDF document, not a Web page. Further fact checking leads to the conclusion that this is an article in a book published by Springer-Verlag: Algorithmic Foundation of Robotics VII: Selected Contributions of the Seventh International Workshop on the Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics.

For Date, view Page Info for pdf


Authors Arkin, Esther M., Michael A. Bender, Joseph S. B. Mitchell and Valentin Polishchuk
Title The Snowblower Problem
Web page none
Publisher (book) Springer-Verlag
Date 11 June 2006 (book: 2006)
URL http://www.ams.sunysb.edu/~jsbm/papers/snowblowing.pdf

Citation 8


Search Notes

Ability Level: Intermediate to Advanced Traffic Light System

Found on page: Date (also in Page Info) and Document Title (in Page Source <title> is different: Traffic Control).

For Author, Publisher and Website Title, truncate URL to ~teb/java/ntnujava/. Note that this page points to a mirror site and that the original page (see link on ~teb/java/ntnujava/) is on Geocities.yahoo.com. Because of this, we believe the author bears the responsibility for publishing this page. In this case, the title on the webpage is Virtual Physics Laboratory, but in the code the <title> is Fu-Kwun Hwang's Personal Home Page, which we believe is more accurate. In the online scoring, both names are awarded points.

Author Fu-Kwun Hwang
Title Traffic Light System
Web page Fu-Kwun Hwang's Personal Home Page
Publisher Fu-Kwun Hwang
Date 8 January 1998
URL http://www.phys.hawaii.edu/~teb/java/ntnujava/ trafficControl/trafficControl.html

IMSA Citation Wizard

Online Citation Assessment