Is your homeschooled high schooler learning how to write a research paper? Then tune in for a few practical tips, on today’s Home School Heartbeat with HSLDA President Mike Smith.
Becky, learning how to write a research paper is an important part of high school—but those citations are so confusing! How can parents teach the intricacies of citation in their homeschooling?
Well, because there are several citation systems that are acceptable to be used—such as MLA, APA, or CBE—it’s not important to know every system, but rather to learn one system (realizing rules can change later). If the student has the skill of one system, he can easily adapt to the others as the need arises. For most general high school papers, the MLA is often used. But if the child takes a course from another teacher, he needs to check which system is required. Since kids may try to exclusively use the Internet for research, it’s a good idea to require a variety of sources so they will be forced to know how to use and cite different types of material. There are writing handbooks and websites available that detail the latest guidelines for citing all the different kinds of sources. Another reason for teaching citation, though, is to teach children to avoid plagiarism—and also to avoid those long quotes and excessive paraphrasing which hinder independent critical thinking.
Becky, thank you. We’ll look forward to talking more with you again next time. Until then, I’m Mike Smith.