APA style and other types of citing methods are very important for both teachers and students to understand. I think I have a good enough grasp on the concepts of the style to be able to teach it to others. There’s a lot to keep in mind when beginning to learn how to use APA and it seems very difficult during the first attempts. But, as with everything else, practice makes perfect and also provides a sense of confidence as you go to cite things again and again. I remember when I had my first practice with APA in the form of a citing practice assignment for the technology class (http://libguides.ben.edu/content.php?pid=118163&sid=1064117) I felt like it was so annoying, time consuming, and just plain pointless. I hated to do it because it wasn’t easy and I actually had to put time and effort into finishing it. I will admit that it did help me a lot with my citing skills and I now feel much more comfortable using APA on my own and knowing where I can go if I do have a hole in my citing repertoire. PS if you have your own hole in your citing repertoire go to the OWL Purdue website (https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/). It’s really user friendly and clear!
Teaching it to High SchoolersEdit
If I had this dreadful feeling with citation I can only imagine that it’s going to be worse for high school students who haven’t had the same exposure as I have had being in college. APA is a part of my life now, and even though I might not like it, I still have to know it because using proper citation is crucial in all levels of education and in nearly every professional career. APA isn’t going anywhere anytime soon so I might as well embrace it. I think I need to approach teaching citation with the same attitude. The kids are going to hate it, I’m going to have to deal with their dislike somehow, but we all have to get through it because it’s important to learn. I will need to stress why it’s important they learn APA or another citation method so they will better understand why they even need to do this in the first place. Just like with everything else I teach, there needs to be a motivation and purpose for the students to learn.
Also I don’t think it has to be taught in such a cut and dry way. One thing all high schoolers love is… GAMES (yay)! I can think of a lot of ways to make the subject more engaging and exciting to learn. One example of an idea I can think of is to give student groups a book, website, or other source to cite and then give each student a placard with part of the citation on it. The groups will then have to race to see which group can arrange them correctly the fastest. This is great because the kids get to get up and move and they become part of the citation themselves, making it easier to remember when they do it on their own. Who said citation had to be boring?