The phrase APA citations rarely causes a student’s eyes to light up with excitement, but the ability to effectively organize research sources into well-crafted paragraphs using a formal citation style is integral to academic success.
Although the fundamentals of in-text citations are straightforward, many students find that incorporating facts and ideas from other works into their own writing is challenging. In 2017, Library Services and Digital Media at NAIT collaborated on a project to make challenging research topics more engaging for students. One of the outcomes was the creation of an interactive online tool so students can practice their APA in-text citations.
The in-text citation tool shows students how to weave sources together. It takes students past the basics of citation style and provides a useful stepping stone for effectively incorporating sources into their writing.
You can try out the tool: http://media.nait.ca/intext-citation.
The online tool has been designed for students to use in a variety of settings: as part of face-to-face instruction, in an online learning space or through individual study.
When a NAIT instructor showed the in-text citation tool to a class of students, they began engaging in animated discussions over the correct APA answers and requested more time so they could continue working (and debating) their way through the activity.
It is not easy to engage students in topics that are often considered dry and challenging, like APA citations. Our experience shows how powerful a well-designed activity can be to the student learning process.