Bibliographies - Works Cited

Research Note Sheets

Hand these out to students EARLY in the research process, so they can keep track of what sources they're using from the start.  Nothing is worse than realizing at the end that the student doesn't remember where they got their information!

Be sure to model how to find the required information for different sources.

Book Research Note Sheet
Books w/ Articles Research Note Sheet - use when using specific articles from Wonders, etc.

Style Guide

The CUSD Elementary Libraries MLA Style Guide provides examples of how to cite the most common information resources used by our students. 

Getting Started with Bibliographies and Works Cited

As we move to CommonCore standards and begin to make an concerted effort to incorporate more informational resources into our curriculum, it's critical that we educate our students on the proper use of the information sources.  Bibliographies/Works Cited are the answer here.  The key is to require students to acknowledge and provide information about where their information came from.  This is important for several reasons:
1)  It gives proper acknowledgement to the creator of the original source of information.
2)  It provides credibility to and the ability to verify the information the student is sharing.
3)  It allows the audience to locate the original source for more information.
4)  It's ethically, and in many cases, legally required to properly cite the information you borrow.

Students are never too young to begin developing citation skills.  In the primary grades, simply having a short form available where young children can check off the type of source they used (Book, Internet, Encyclopedia, Person) can get them started in the habit of thinking about the kinds of informational resources and introduces the concept that they need to include information about their sources with their work. 

For older students, teachers can choose from several options to require students to cite their work using MLA standards.  The requirement you choose may depend on the ages and skill level of the students in the class, time, your own comfort, or other factors.  Here are some ways to scaffold citations for students.  (NOTE: In all cases, it's important to model for students WHERE to find the information they need for different sources.  For example, WHERE would students look for a place of publication for a book?  WHERE would the look for a date notation on a website?   This instruction is important, and most students do not know how to find these details on their own.)

Have copies of the CUSD Library citation note sheets available for different sources.  Have students fill out the required information and include all note sheets with their final report/project.

More Challenging
Have students use the information from the note sheets to complete a full Bibliography.


Have students create a full Works Cited page accompanied by proper parenthetical (in-text) citations according to MLA standards.  This will be the requirement they will face most often in post-elementary classrooms.

Another Option...
Resources such as EasyBib, Noodletools and others provide online citation makers.  These usually offer a LOT of specialized source templates, so be prepared to instruct students on how to choose and use the various citation templates.  Again, don't forget to also model how to locate the information they need for the various fields.

Need HELP?!

Citations can be challenging, even for teachers.  If you'd like some support, you can start by using our Elementary Research Note Sheets below and start with the Easy step listed above.  Also know that the district elementary Teacher Librarian, Michelle Kelley, would love to visit your classroom and provide instruction and support for citations.  Ms. Kelley will include an overview of how to use the Research Note Sheets, where to locate the information required for the citations, and how to pull them all together.   Contact Ms. Kelley to schedule and plan for citation support for your classroom report or project.