Enjoy this post from guest blogger Jessica Ellison of Minnesota History Day:
Many students are using online citation programs, such as Easy Bib or Noodle Bib, to generate their citations. While these programs can sometimes be helpful as students assemble their bibliographies, there are certain flaws that can result in incorrect citations. For example, when using Easy Bib’s MLA style to cite a government document, the citation formula does not ask for an original date of publication. Students citing the United States Constitution, as found on the Library of Congress website, will be asked for the date the document was published on the website and the date the document was accessed, but not for the original publication date.
Be cautious of online citation generators. History Day rules require the bibliography citations to be in either MLA or Turabian style, and certain citations assembled online do not match either of these. In general, it is always a good idea to have students use the printed guides, “A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations” by Kate Turabian or “MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers” by Joseph Gibaldi, instead of using the online generators. It’s similar to the skill of telling time or doing long division; digital clocks and calculators are available, but students still need to learn how to read traditional clocks and do long division by hand. Additionally, the online generators seem easier, but in many cases it is more complicated than simply referencing one of these books.
If the books are not available at your school library, here are a few helpful citation guides online for Turabian and MLA.