Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

The Best Resources For Learning Research & Citation Skills


This “The Best…” list is sort of a combination of two lists I had been thinking of making to go along with The Best Online Resources To Teach About Plagiarism (Another list to keep in mind might be The Best Reference Websites For English Language Learners — 2008).

The more I thought about it, though, the more I felt that a list of engaging (and even fun) sites to teach research skills and accessible citation resources would make a good combination.

Since a graduation requirement in our district is that seniors need to develop a “Senior Project,” I’ve spent some time finding these kinds of helpful sites that might be accessible to English Language Learners.  I have to say, though, that these sites (except for the first one) would probably only be accessible to more advanced ELL’s.

Here are my choices for The Best Resources For Learning Research And Citation Skills:


Research 101 comes from Lycoming College. It was created to teach students how to navigate successfully around library resources. They also have a Choose Your Own Library Adventure Game..

The City University of New York has an excellent series of exercises on actually writing a research paper.

“Searching With Success” is an engaging tutorial on searching the web. It’s from Acadia University, and is accessible to high Intermediate English Language Learners.

Acadia also has a tutorial called Credible Sources Count. It’s probably only accessible to advanced ELL’s.

Trails is an impressive interactive course, though a teacher needs to set up an account first.


Eastern Washington University has a good tutorial on Citing Your Sources.

Here are several sites that will correctly format citations once you input the necessary information:

Citation Machine
Knight Cite
King Citation

Cite It In

Cite This For Me
is a new web app that helps you create reference citations in the “Harvard Referencing Style.”

My colleague Kara Synhorst found this video on “Why We Cite.” I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning Research & Citation Skills. You can find the Why We Cite video on YouTube here (embedding is disabled) and another subtitled version here.

Formatically is a new free online tool I haven’t really explored it yet, but they see that it “will actually format an entire essay in MLA, excluding the individual citations. Here’s a video about it:

There’s a new citation tool in town called RefME, and it may be the best of the bunch. Unlike some of the others, though, you do have to create a free account and login before you use it.

Here’s a video describe how it works:

Citations for Beginners from Imagine Easy Solutions on Vimeo.

Suggestions are always welcome.

If you found this post useful, you might want to look at previous “The Best…” lists and also consider subscribing to this blog for free.

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.


  1. i’m so excited about this post, larry! i’m a teacher/librarian, and you’ve found stuff that i’ve yet to stumble upon, as usual! =)

    however at least 3 of the links are dead. =(

    and there’s quite a few more citation-generating websites you might want to add to your list, starting with noodlebib (from library legend debbie abilock) and the build a bibliography service free from =)

    thanks for all you do, larry. =)

  2. Great list! Thanks.
    To go along with its page on Plagiarism there is a short page on Citation on EnglishClub here. :
    Some of the others you’ve mentioned have quizzes, and I think EC (which often pairs quizzes with these types of pages) will add one in the future. It’s great for teachers to have so many options. You are truly a time saver!

  3. Excelente material!!Gracias por compartirlo.
    Saludos Cordiales.

  4. Don’t forget about Endnote (software and online editions (, Mendeley (, and citeulike (

  5. Pingback: How do I … cite sources correctly? | Tools 4 Tassie Teachers

  6. Pingback: Citing Sources | Theory Of Knowledge

  7. Hey RockstarPE,

    We used Endnote at University, However RefME ( is really good too, you can create references in any style on you mobile, just by scanning with your camera. It’s not got all of the features Endnote has, but it’s definitely the best referencing tool I’ve used just for creating my bibliography.


  8. Refme has a good web app too, better than cite me, bib me etc…

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