How To Write A Bibliography Page For Kids

Level: Elementary school, Middle school

Length: 3:15

Notes: Citations are in MLA 8th edition

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Plagiarism: It’s a tough word for young students to read and understand, but it also comes with some scary consequences. Consequences can include teacher, parent, and/or administrator intervention, a failed grade, and in some cases, even school expulsion. The best way to prevent it? Teach your students, while they’re at a young age, to be responsible researchers. Teaching your students to include citations in their research projects is an essential, lifelong skill that will prevent plagiarism, provide self-confidence in the creation and submission of a research project, and also keep those scary consequences for them at bay.

Citations for Beginners was developed to help young researchers understand:

  • what plagiarism is
  • why citations are created (to acknowledge or give credit to the original author, to allow others to find the source themselves, and to demonstrate to your instructor that you’re capable of locating high quality resources)
  • the format and components of a citation in MLA format
  • the purpose of using citation generator websites, such as EasyBib, to develop citations

Use this video in a whole group setting to serve as an introduction to the citation process, assign students to watch it at home for homework as a “flipped classroom” activity, or collaborate with your school librarian to develop extension activities. The possibilities are endless and learning about citations is vital to becoming a responsible and ethical researcher.

Believe it or not, elementary students aren’t too young to use citation generator websites, such as Its simple design allows for young students to quickly and easily cite their sources. Students are capable of creating citations for books, websites, magazine articles, videos, and many other sources they may use while researching. Students can copy and paste the citations into their research project or export them to their Google Docs or Microsoft Word template.

Looking for more videos to help with the research process? Be on the lookout for more coming your way! We’re planning on rolling out videos related to the research process and plagiarism in the months to come! Subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to receive our new and exciting resources for educators.

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A bibliography is a list of the resources you used to write your essay. There are lots of different methods of writing bibliographies, but most secondary schools and universities use the ‘Author-date' (Harvard) system.

When using this system, you need to include slightly different information for different types of resources:


  • author's name – surname followed by first initial
  • year of publication of the edition you're using
  • title, in italics
  • publisher
  • place of publication, usually a city.

For example

One of the books used to write this site was Ned Kelly: a short life. It was written by Ian Jones in 2003, and published by Lothian Books in the suburb of South Melbourne in Victoria. In our references it appears as:

Jones, I 2003, Ned Kelly: a short life, Lothian Books, South Melbourne, Vic.

Magazines, newspapers & journals

  • author's name – surname followed by first initial, if there's a
  • year of publication
  • title of the article in single quote marks [‘...']
  • name of the publication, in italics
  • specific date, including volume number if applicable
  • page number.

For example

If there's no by-line and you don't know who wrote the article, record the:

title of the article

name of the newspaper


page number.

So your reference would look like:

‘Yorta people vow to fight on', The Age, 19 Dec 1998, p 8


  • name of the organisation or person who made the site
  • name of the site
  • date you looked at the site
  • complete web address

For example

If you used this site in an assignment you would reference it as:

State Library of Victoria, ergo, viewed 15 March 2011, <>

The main thing to remember about bibliographies and referencing is to be consistent. Check whether your teacher has a preferred system – if not, pick one and stick to it.

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