-- Citing Internet resources
-- How students should reference online sources in their bibliographies
Research. It's one of the major reasons students use the Internet.
Elementary and secondary students now rely on the Internet as a major
Just as students cite the books and periodicals they use to support their
research, so must they also cite their online sources in their
bibliographies. In fact, educators and students should understand that it's
perhaps more important to cite Internet sources, since the nature of the
technology makes it easy to copy, cut, and paste between documents. Listing
sites in a bibliography also makes students aware that their teachers can
follow up on their work to check its veracity.
Formal guidelines for citing online sources are beginning to evolve. The
latest MLA Handbook contains citation information for electronic sources.
(See the end of the story for Web links to this information.)
In January, a group of educators formed an ad-hoc committee on an Internet
discussion group to talk about electronic citations. The result of their
discussions and debate follows. Keep in mind that these rules are still
evolving, and that there are sure to be changes in the future.
What follows are examples of how to cite seven different types of online
information sources. For each type, we'll show you how to structure the
citation, followed by two examples.
Author of email message. Subject line of the message. [Online] Available
email: firstname.lastname@example.org from email@example.com, date of message.
Robert, Eric. Nile Research Project results. [Online] Available email:
firstname.lastname@example.org from email@example.com, February 3, 1996.
Taylor, Barry. Hubble Space Telescope image enhancement techniques.
[Online] Available email: firstname.lastname@example.org from
email@example.com, January 23, 1995.
Author. Title of gopher item. [Online] Available gopher: address, path,
date of document or download.
U.S. Department of Agriculture. Agriculture Statistics for 4th Quarter
1995. [Online] Available gopher: agri.usda.gov, Department of
Agriculture/Latest Statistics for 1995/4th Quarter Folder, January 28,
Chalmers, Andrea. Bosnia: A Country in Transition. [Online] Available
gopher: nywer.net, Today's News/World News/Bosnia-Herzegovina, February 5,
Author. Title of item. [Online] Available ftp: address, path/filename, date
of document or download.
Hess, Hanna. Networking in the Information Age. [Online] Available ftp:
194.335.23.10, pub/research/internet/network.txt, February 5, 1996.
Gates, Gary. Shakespeare and his Muse. [Online] Available ftp:
esearch/muse.txt, March 1, 1996.
Author. Title of item. [Online] Available telnet: address, path, date of
document or download.
Brady, Larry E. Map of Iraqi Troop Movements for 1/9/96. [Online] Available
telnet: fedworld.gov, Government Information/CIA/Maps/Latest Maps/Iraq,
January 10, 1996.
Jackson, Fred. Statistical Weather Data for Wisconsin, January 1996.
[Online] Available telnet: weather.machine.umich.edu, Weather Data/January
1996/States/Zooms/Data/Wisconsin, February 25, 1996.
WORLD WIDE WEB
Author. Title of item. [Online] Available http://address/filename, date of
document or download.
DiStefano, Vince. Guidelines for better writing. [Online] Available
http://www.usa.net/~vinced/home/better-writing.html, January 9, 1996.
Yule, James. The Cold War Revisited: A Splintered Germany. [Online]
ermany/germany.html, March 5, 1996.
Author. Title of item. [Online] Available usenet: group, date of post.
Brown, David. Educational Insights 1995. [Online] Available usenet:
k12.ed.research, December 27, 1995.
Madige, Ellen. How to Build a Better Moustrap. [Online] Available usenet:
sci.tech.inventions.mousetrap, January 16, 1996.
INTERNET RELAY CHAT (IRC)
Name of online speaker. [Online] Available IRC: telnet , IRC
channel name, date of session.
McBane, Lisa. [Online] Available IRC: telnet world.sensemedia.net:6677,
#egypt, March 8, 1996.
Frappe, Francois. [Online] Available IRC: telnet france.irc.edu:1234,
#france, January 23, 1996.
-- Web sites about citations
Several Web sites offer more information about citing electronic sources.
MLA Citation Guide
Citing Computer Documents
Williams College Library Web
This story is Copyright 1996 WWM/Classroom Connect. It may not be reprinted
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Senior Internet Writer