Teaching referencing to students new to Higher Education - Gandour (handout)
Teaching referencing to students
new to Higher Education
LILAC Liverpool – Thursday 5th
April 2018 – 14.55 to 15.25
Aurélie Gandour – Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust
firstname.lastname@example.org – @aurelie_sol
PARAMETERS OF THE SESSION DESCRIBED
Length: 2 hours so we have plenty of time for explanations, questions, and activities (see session plan on the
last page of this handout).
Number of students: 6 to 12 new to Higher Education students is ideal. If possible, I get one of my colleagues
to come so we can give more one-on-one feedback to students on each activity and answer all of their
Timing: ideally when the students start working on their first assignment. Repeat sessions, Q&A, or surgeries
can be welcome closer to the hand out date or before another assignment.
Activities used during the session:
o To Cite Or Not To Cite (see above), often done while waiting for everybody to join the classroom.
Going through the answers together provokes discussion.
o Citing worksheet (see page 3 of this handout), divided in 3 levels. The teacher first explains the
content relating to the exercise (ie: how to add a page number to a citation), then the students do the
related part of the exercise in pairs, then we go through the answers together and the teacher
answers the questions arising.
o Referencing jigsaw, divided in 4 levels (simple book, complex book, journal article, website). Same
process as for the citing worksheet. This exercise helps the students experience in which order the
information needs to be put, which will make writing references much easier later on. And it’s fun!
o Referencing worksheet (see page 4 ofthishandout).The studentsgo through the worksheet on their
own or in pairs while the teacher goes around to check how they’re doing. I try to make sure that
everybody managed to do at least the first document before they leave.
o Feedback form: one thing you liked, one thing you disliked, one thing you’d like to know more about.
In this masterclass, I will share the class plan, materials, and active learning tasks (Eastwood et al., 2009; Walsh and
Inala, 2010; Walsh, 2017) I have developed to teach citing and referencing to students who are new to Higher
Education, using Harvard style (Pears and Shields, 2016).
In the context of Higher Education, correct citing and referencing is used to demonstrate the depth and breadth of
information students are basing their writing on, along with how well they have understood and critically engaged
with those texts (Vardi, 2012).
As demonstrated by Jiao and Onwuegbuzie (1996), students new to Higher Education are amongst the categories of
students the most prone to library anxiety. However, I have found the biggest obstacle to be some of the students’
self-defeating belief that learning how to reference is too complicated and that it’s a skill they will never be able to
To help them overcome this challenge, it’s helpful to examine teaching style (Johnson and Barrett, 2017). For this
type of session, I use several strategies: dividing the task into tiny steps, making sure students get to experience
“small wins” early on, and making sure they engage with the materials throughout the whole session.
Using the principlesofactive learning also seemsparticularlysuccessful:studentsget to manipulate difficult concepts
in a simple manner while allowing the tutor to evaluate how well they’ve understood the materials and where they
are still struggling.
Seeing these students finally understand a complex topic is extremely rewarding and I receive great feedback from
these sessions.As one student expressed:“I wasn’t looking forwardto thissession,I assumedit wouldbe quite boring.
But you made it so interactive – it was the best class I’ve taken in years.”
Eastwood, L. et al. (2009) A Toolkit for Creative Teaching in Post-Compulsory Education. Maidenhead: Open University
Jiao, Q. G. and Onwuegbuzie, A. J. (1996) ‘Library Anxiety: Characteristics of “At-Risk” College Students’, in Annual
conference of the Mid-South Educational Research Association, Biloxi, MS, November 9, 1995. Biloxi, p. 11.
Johnson, H. A. and Barrett, L. C. (2017) ‘Your teaching strategy matters: how engagement impacts application in
health information literacy instruction’, Journal of the Medical Library Association, 105(1), pp. 44–49. doi:
Pears, R. and Shields, G. (2016) Cite them right: The essential referencing guide. 10th edn. London: Palgrave (Palgrave
Vardi, I. (2012) ‘Developing students’ referencing skills: A matter of plagiarism, punishment and morality or of
learning to write critically?’, Higher Education Research and Development, 31(6), pp. 921–930. doi:
Walsh, A. (2017) The Mini Book of Teaching Tips for Librarians. Huddersfield: Innovative Libraries.
Walsh, A. and Inala, P. (2010) Active Learning Techniques for Librarians: Practical Examples, Chandos Information
Professional Series. Oxford: Chandos Publishing.
Worksheet – Citing in Harvard Style
Try and cite this book correctly in those three different sentences.
Here is the full reference information for it:
Rowling, J.K. (1997) Harry Potter and the philosopher’s stone. London: Bloomsbury Children’s.
1. In her first book, _____________ (________) built the premises of her well-known series of children’s
2. She invented many terms that are now commonly used in English. For example, in the first book,
we discover that non-wizard people are called “muggles” (__________________________).
3. Of all the books published in __________, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
(______________) is probably the most beloved.
Rowling, J.K., Tiffany, J. and Thorne, J. (2016) Harry Potter and the cursed child: The official script
book. London: Little, Brown.
1. Fans pre-ordered the script of this intriguing play (____________________________________)
months in advance even though it would only be released on 31st
Gordon, A., Lawrence, J., Schoen, B., Spartz, E. and Stull, G. (2006) What will
happen in Harry Potter 7: Who lives, who dies, who falls in love, and how will the
adventure finally end. Berkeley: Ulysses Press.
2. Several MuggleNet contributors published a collection of unofficial fan predictions
(_____________________________________________) before the publication of Book 7. It reached #2 on the
New York Times Children’s Bestseller List, where it spent six months.
Rowling, J.K. (2000) Harry Potter and the goblet of fire. London: Bloomsbury Children’s.
The last chapter of this book runs from page 621 to 636.
1. The last chapter of the fourth book is called “The Beginning” (_____________________________).
In this next example, please cite the first page of the last chapter:
2. We can observe different reactions to bereavement throughout the books. For example, _____________
depicts that ‘Mrs Diggory’s grief seemed to be beyond tears’ (____________________).
Worksheet – referencing in Harvard style
Try and write down references for the following documents.
Type: children’s fantasy novel
Title: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
Author: Clive Staples Lewis
Publication date: 16/10/1950
Publisher: Geoffrey Bles, based in London
Write your reference for document 1:
Type: journal article
Title: Representing spatial structure through maps and
Subtitle: The case for Middle Earth
Authors: Max M. Louwerse and Nick Benesh, from the
University of Memphis
Journal title: Cognitive Science - ISSN: 0364-0213
Volume: 36; Issue: 8 (Nov-Dec 2012)
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Pages: 1556-1569; Page count: 14
Write your reference for document 2:
Type: blog article
Website’s name: J.K. Rowling.com
Post title: Cursed Child Film Rumours
Publication date: 20th
URL (I checked it worked on 26/07/2017):
Author: Joanne Kathleen Rowling
Write your reference for document 3:
Session Plan – Harvard Style
Organising tutor Portfolio
Course assistant Personal librarian
Number of learners Level of learners
Length of session Room
Learning outcomes Citing and referencing in Harvard style.
What we did last time Date
What we will do next time Date
→ Classroom door:
→ Teacher’s computer:
→ Students’ computers:
→ IT help desk:
→ Library main desk:
NAMES OF STUDENTS
CONTENT OF THE SESSION
- To Cite Or Not To Cite
- Citing in Harvard style
- Referencing in Harvard style
LIST OF MATERIALS
To Cite or Not To Cite
Citing and referencing worksheet
START OF CLASS: 1.00 pm
□ 1.00 pm: Students settling down (5 min)
□ 1.05 pm: Introduction (10 min)
o Citing vs Referencing
o Short activity: To Cite Or Not To Cite (5 min)
o Of the importance of consistency
o ‘Cite Them Right’ Harvard, 10th
□ 1.15 pm: Citing in-text: the basics (5 min)
o Basic citation
o Excluding the author / excluding the year
1.20 pm: Citing Exercise, Level 1 (10 min)
□ 1.30 pm: Citing in-text: add-ons 1 (5 min)
o Multiple authors
o No date
1.35 pm: Citing Exercise, Level 2 (10 min)
□ 1.45 pm: Citing in-text: add-ons 2 (5 min)
o Adding page numbers
1.50 pm: Citing Exercise, Level 3 (5 min)
□ 1.55 pm: Referencing a ‘simple’ book (5 min)
o The basic reference
2.00 pm: Referencing Jigsaw, Level 1 (10 min)
□ 2.10 pm: Referencing a ‘complex’ book (5 min)
o Editors, book series, and edition number
2.15 pm: Referencing Jigsaw, Level 2 (5 min)
□ 2.20 pm: Referencing an article (5 min)
2.25 pm: Referencing Jigsaw, Level 3 (5 min)
□ 2.30 pm: Referencing an webpage (5 min)
2.35 pm: Referencing Jigsaw, Level 4 (5 min)
2.40 pm: Writing References, an exercise (15 min)
□ 2.55 pm: Last questions and feedback survey (5 min)
END OF CLASS: 3.00 pm