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.


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.”

How to Use QuickCite to Create MLA 8 Citations is from Richard Byrne.

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.

There’s a new citation tool in town called RefME, and it may be the best of the bunch.

Citations for Beginners from Imagine Easy Solutions on Vimeo.

Formatically has been on this “Best” list, and this summer they unveiled a new free, and just about the easiest, citation tool around. It’s called the Instant Citation Tool. Paste in the url address of just about anything and it will spit out the MLA, APA, Chicago or Harvard citation.

Citationsy is a new browser add-on that could come in handy.

Anytime I’ve gone to Google Docs recently, I’m getting notified of a new citations feature it added. You can read about it at Easily add and manage citations in Google Docs.

Bibcitation also just came out. Here’s a video about it:

A New Citation Generator from ClassTools is from Richard Byrne.

Google Docs Gets an Improved Citation Option is by Richard Byrne.

Five Powerful Citation Tools to Unlock Academic Success is from TechNotes.

Suggestions are always welcome.

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