Bibliographies with EasyBib Now Even Easier

Students and teachers at IST are principled inquirers. Among the many skills we possess as principled inquirers is that of citing our sources. Students from grade 5 and up are expected to maintain bibliography lists with the sources that they use in their school assignments.

Along with their classroom and subject teachers, the librarians help students cite sources accurately and correctly. One of the tools we provide our students for efficient bibliography making is EasyBib, an online citation engine.  Students in grades 5 and up are taught to use EasyBib.

EasyBib landing page

As its name implies, EasyBib is  easy to use. It can automatically generate citations for books and websites, and additionally it offers 59 different options for other types of sources. A new feature makes EasyBib even easier: importing of citations from databases and writing/pasting of citations. This last is very useful if a student copies a ready citation from a database or if the student has written it out by hand using the guides in his or her homework log.

Write-paste citation on EasyBib

As the elementary librarian, I am working with grade 5 students as they research the United Nations Millennium Development Goals for the Grade 5 Exhibition. As they will for major projects in middle school, the fifth graders must submit a bibliography with their other Exhibition assignments. They are becoming quite proficient at using EasyBib and are taking advantage of another great new feature: sharing their bibliographies with other students and teachers.

If you want to learn how to take advantage of EasyBib’s school subscription, please visit us at the library.

Citation-Ready Sources for Elementary Students

Last Tuesday, we had a parent session for grades 2 to 5 titled: Principled Inquirers in grades 2 to 5. One of the skills that principled inquirers use is giving credit to the sources that help them arrive at their answers. We call this “citing our sources” and each instance of that is a “citation.” Our school uses the Modern Language Association (MLA) citation format.

MLA citations are slightly different depending on the source consulted, i.e., a citation for a book is slightly different to that of a personal interview or a website article, but they all try to answer the following questions:

  • Who – is the creator/originator of the information?
  • What – is the title of the source?
  • Where – was the information published?
  • When – was the information published?

One additional “When” question asks, “When was the information accessed” if the source is online.

On Tuesday, we spoke about the progression of citation skills we expect from our students in grades 2 to 5. We also spoke about citation-ready databases.

Databases are online collections of articles that are accessed through a portal. Databases are sources of authoritative, accurate and reliable information. One of the benefits of using databases for research is that they often supply citations ready to be copied and included in student’s bibliographies.

The following subscription databases are “citation-ready” meaning that they will provide citations for students. We subscribe to these databases on behalf of our community. Students are taught by the librarians and their classroom teachers to access them via the library OPAC. Please let us know if you are a member of the IST community and you need help accessing our databases.

Citation-Ready Databases

PebbleGo – A database for students in preK to grade 2. We have two collections: Animals and Earth & Space. The database is arranged via a graphic interface that makes it easy for our younger students to find the topic of their choice. See the screenshot below with the citation button on a sample article.

Citation button on PebbleGo

Britannica Online School Edition – The school edition of the famous Encyclopedia Britannica offers three different levels of reading ability. All three levels provide citations for their articles. Students can copy and paste directly into their bibliographies. Students from grade 4 are expected to copy the full citation.

Citation on Britannica

Britannica Image Quest
– a collection of searchable, high quality images. Each image has a full citation that can be copied and pasted. For many school projects in the elementary school, students are allowed to write the phrase “Images from Britannica Image Quest.” More formal projects require students in grade 5 to include the full citation for each image.

Citation on Britannica Image Quest

WorldBook Online
– Like Britannica School Edition, WorldBook Online offers three levels of reading difficulty and citations for each article.

Citation on WorldBook

BrainPop – This is a very popular database with our students. It has short videos on a variety of school topics. Although BrainPop does not include ready citations, there is a FAQ page that explains how to cite a BrainPop movie. Note that you need to add the word “Web.” to the citation.

Grade 4 Are Principled Researchers

Grade 4 has just presented a fantastic science fair showcasing experiments each student devised. The central idea of their unit was, ” Scientific experimentation allows us to investigate our questions and reach conclusions.” As a culminating activity for the unit, students explored questions they had posed during the unit and independently carried out experiments to follow the scientific process and answer those questions.

As part of their inquiries into scientific experimentation, students had to tune into the background knowledge they already had about science experiments and they also had to look for examples of experiments they could replicate in the classroom.

G4 students learned to use the Dewey Decimal System classification number for science,  “the 500s”, to help them find appropriate books on science in our library’s OPAC (online catalog) and on our shelves. In preparation for the science fair, they reviewed citation of books as a way that principled library and information users respect the ideas of others. Each student wrote the author, title, publisher and publication date on an index card which they displayed next to their experiment materials. Here are some photos of their citation cards. Can you find the citation at each student display?

Click here for more photos on the 4R blog.

Click here for more photos on the 4B blog.

EasyBib Schools Edition

Many of you already use to create MLA citations when you are doing research. Now, EasyBib is even more useful.

Go to from a computer at school and you will have the option to LOGIN or REGISTER. If you do not already have an account, choose REGISTER. Use your IST email address as your username and choose a password that will be easy for you to remember. Once you have registered, you have access to all that EasyBib schools’ edition has to offer. Once you’ve created your account at school, you will have full access from home as well.

You can create projects and save all of your citations, notes, outlines and annotations together in one place.

Within a project, you can create as many notes as you need for every source you use. These can include bullet-point notes, quotations and paraphrasing. Cards can be colour-coded, sorted and resorted as often as you want or need. Also in the Notebook view, you can create an outline of a project. Notes can be dragged to a point in the outline and the contents of the note will automatically be added to the project outline.

EasyBib will now save all of your citations and annotations. You can select the ones to publish in a bibliography and quickly save it in a properly MLA-formatted, alphabetized MSWord document.

To see some of these features, watch this video.