Giving Students a Research-Based Education in the 21st Century

Teaching Information-Gathering and Citation Skills

Giving Students a Research-Based Education in the 21st Century

Cynthia Christopherson

English Teacher North Stafford High School, Virginia

"Until they get to high school, most students have never heard of MLA. They don’t understand how to do in-text citations or bibliographies and works cited pages."

“Until they get to high school, most students have never heard of MLA. They don’t understand how to do in-text citations or bibliographies and works cited pages.” Cynthia Christopherson, a High School English teacher, encounters underprepared students every year. She relies on Turnitin Feedback Studio as a check for similar content, and to identify where that content is coming from—within her institution or online sources. She finds Feedback Studio’s drag-and-drop comments help her address citation, formatting, and grammatical issues quickly. She often includes links to other resources and specific directions in her QuickMarks.

Christopherson uses Turnitin Feedback Studio’s similarity index to help students find their voices. “I’ve taught them to look at that number. If it is not below 20%, then they don’t have enough commentary. They’re not original in their thought.” She finds that underclassmen haven’t yet learned to analyze a text and need a nudge to generate content from their own perspectives. “This research-based education is, I think, very vital to their future success.”