Citing Sources

Instruction in Citations

At Silas Deane Middle School, we expect students to research and use information responsibly. That means giving credit to authors, photographers, speakers, or video producers of work we use and refer to during research.

We provide instruction in creating MLA citations and responsible use. We also talk about how to take good notes and plagiarism. In seventh grade, we focus on the elements that go into creating a citation. In eighth grade, we review those elements, challenge students to use and create citations for different kinds of sources, and offer lessons in online note taking and outlining for their major science research project using NoodleTools, an online citation maker. We also introduce science students in 8th grade to APA formatting.


Silas Deane Middle School media center staff help students set up accounts to use NoodleTools at the beginning of the year. Students can access NoodleTools from any computer with an Internet connection - at home, at school or elsewhere. Students can save and keep lists of citations and even take electronic notes that can be saved and printed. Students can organize, tag, and revise notes, citations, and even create outlines for their research paper within it.

  • Students log in using their Google/GMail account.

Elements of Citations

Most citations require one to answer four basic questions:

  • Who wrote it/created it? (Author)
  • What is the title? (name of webpage, name of website, name of online database)?
  • Where was it published/where can it be found again (online address or city of publication)?
  • When was it published (copyright year/ date last revised online, date viewed online) ?

General guidelines for citing sources properly:

  • Reverse-indent entries
  • Alphabetize
  • Punctuate properly