Works Cited and Resources

10 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT: how to use a database for research; learn why we use parenthetical citations and a Works Cited page.

Big Idea

This lesson is a whirlwind of necessity, in preparation for a research project.

Guiding Question

5 minutes

The Guiding Question asks the students to create a research question, and to move beyond simply a "topic" for research.


50 minutes

I started this lesson by modeling how to research. I went to my school's library website, and clicked on the links provided to our database. I pretended that I had the topic of phones, and my research question was "How will cell phones change in the future?"

I typed in "phones" and got over 15,000 sources. Then I thought outloud, "Hmmm...maybe if I typed in cell phones and future, what will I get?" Answer: 4,500 sources. So, I started to scroll through them. The first one that looked promising was called "Cell Phones are the Future" or something. I read it outloud and the kids thought it was really funny, as it was talking about a voice-activated search engine, and the ability to send and receive e-mails. This taught us to look at the dates of our sources, because this source was written in 2000.

Finally, we found a source that fit our research question, and noted a general description about it, wrote down five facts gleaned from the article, and summarized our findings--all using our research record

Next, I used the SpringBoard Works Cited and Parenthetical Citation instructions, and I created this little hand motion for remembering when to use parenthetical citations: