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Please list your favorite resources for teaching how to write an MLA research paper


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Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL), found here.

 

When my son studied Composition at the CC, he needed to cite an online resource, an example of which was not listed in his text. The Purdue website told him how to do it--his professor was impressed!

 

Jane

Edited by Jane in NC
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Corraleno, MCT's stuff looks interesting. Have you used it yet? Or used any other of his materials?

 

Keep the suggestions coming, please!

 

This question is particularly geared for a classroom setting, if that makes any difference.

 

Thanks once again!

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I would definitely recommend the latest version of the MLA Handbook, which is currently in its 7th edition. We have the 6th edition, and ours was only purchased a few years ago. Ouch!

 

I think it's good for students to know how to properly cite resources, but in a pinch, the latest versions of Microsoft Word have "Insert Citation" and "Insert Bibliography" tabs which are helpful. You can choose the format you want (i.e., MLA style) and the tool will automatically make the citations for you. However, I haven't quite fully figured out its features, so I keep the 6th edition by my computer!

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We just did this this winter. I had various resources that explained how to do it but in the end, after fussing around with them, I found that I had to demonstrate it myself. I relearned the research paper writing process using a combination of SWB's online directions and my oldest's public school writing book Writers Inc. When it came to the specifics of how to actually site each item, we used OWL. I like Writers Inc because it is laid out in graphic form, a form I can absorb very fast and easily (the digesting already having been done for you GRIN), just what I need as a busy mother who just needs a reminder.

-Nan

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My 11th grade dd reviews MCT's Advanced Academic Writing when she needs to do a formal paper and uses the Purdue site for quick reference. On the other hand, my 9th grade ds uses only Write Source when he can be bothered to check at all.:tongue_smilie:

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Thanks!

 

Janie,

 

One of our board members here at CCS teaches MLA at the local CC (wow, that's a lot of acronyms! LOL! Oops, there's another one...) and she shared some documents with me on configuring MS Word for MLA, as well as offered to come in and talk with my 8th graders about MLA for the science research papers we did with science fair. I did not require MLA for 6th or 7th grade last year, but am going to offer writing workshops for "science writing" prior to next year's fair.

 

I could email you the docs she shared with me if you like.

 

Lori

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The most visually appealing resource to teach each step that I have seen is Writesource student handbook. We used the 10th grade level, but each high school level covers the process and the rules in MINUTE detail---every step of the way. :001_smile:

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I'm a bit late to enter the discussion, but please don't rely on a book you purchased a couple years ago that contains MLA info.

 

MLA changes every year, so what your book says to do may no longer be accurate. For your course at home it may not matter, but for college courses, your dc need to use the current MLA procedures. Online resources are good to use because you can verify that they are current MLA rules.

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Lori,

 

I would *love* to have those docs when you have time to e-mail them. I know our science teacher would love to use them, too!

 

Hope the end of this year is going well for you! We have had a fantastic year (makes all the difference when you have an admin that knows what he's doing!) but a lot of work yet to do to get ready for next year.

 

Btw, I'm registered for both ACCS (Durham) and SCL (Williamsburg) conferences. Hope our paths cross this summer!

 

Janie

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MCT's Advanced Academic Writing does exactly that. Scroll down to the middle of the page, there are sample pages as well: http://www.rfwp.com/series78.htm#824

 

Jackie

 

Hi Jackie,

 

I only followed that link b/c you posted it. I have always taught it the same way as Jane via OWL and simply my own teaching instruction.

 

If you don't need an answer key for grammar or explicit (scripted) directions on how to teach, can you teach this course w/just the student book?

 

Thanks!

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I'll be at ACCS! I'll email you soon! :)

 

Lori,

 

I would *love* to have those docs when you have time to e-mail them. I know our science teacher would love to use them, too!

 

Hope the end of this year is going well for you! We have had a fantastic year (makes all the difference when you have an admin that knows what he's doing!) but a lot of work yet to do to get ready for next year.

 

Btw, I'm registered for both ACCS (Durham) and SCL (Williamsburg) conferences. Hope our paths cross this summer!

 

Janie

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Hi Jackie,

 

I only followed that link b/c you posted it. I have always taught it the same way as Jane via OWL and simply my own teaching instruction.

 

If you don't need an answer key for grammar or explicit (scripted) directions on how to teach, can you teach this course w/just the student book?

 

Thanks!

I don't think you need the teacher's book. I bought both the student and teacher books for Level 1 on the advice of someone who had flipped through the books at a convention and thought the TM was necessary, but having compared them, it seems to me that the TM is just a copy of the student book with a few brief notes sprinkled throughout, plus a "Teacher's Supplement" section in the back that explains the layout of the book, gives suggestions for assigning the reading (e.g. read pages x-xx aloud and ask the students to think about blah blah blah...), and that sort of thing. The TM seems to be aimed at classroom teachers. It also includes a CD-rom with cut-&-pasteable comments for teachers to use in evaluating student writing. I wouldn't use it myself, although I found some of the sample comments quite interesting and useful (e.g. I thought Your conclusion is too 'listy' made an important point in a very clear and concise way :) )

 

My DS is only in 6th and we are still in the early levels of MCT (he's dyslexic & dysgraphic, so LA is not his strong suit), so I haven't used Advanced Academic Writing yet, but it looks really good to me. As with most MCT materials, when you first look at it, it doesn't look like there's a lot there, and it doesn't look like a "normal" language arts curriculum. The stages I went through with MCT went like this:

1. Wow, this stuff looks great! [orders several books]

2. Hmmm, this is .....different. What do I do with this? [puts books on shelf]

3. Okay, I'll just grab a book, grab my kids, and jump in.

4. Hey, this really works! [orders additional books]

5. D*mn, this guy is good!

 

The thing that's really different about MCT is that the books are much more "teachery" than "textbooky." Instead of reading like a list of facts and rules and procedures to memorize, they read more like a conversation with a teacher. Advanced Academic Writing combines instruction in MLA format with discussions about what makes a good essay, why a good essay must start with a good idea, what kind of language is appropriate, etc. There's also some grammar (naturally). There are four writing assignments in the book, to be used one per quarter, and there are samples of good and bad essays to illustrate his main points. There's also a Level 2 book available, and a 3rd one due soon.

 

HTH. If you have any specific questions, I can look things up in the books for you.

 

Jackie

Edited by Corraleno
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