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Pros: Straightforward support for MLA, APA, Chicago, and Harvard Style bibliographies, works cited, and citations.
Cons: Some students may find the absence of scaffolded directions confusing.
Bottom Line: Writinghouse is a useful tool both for students who need a formatting guide and for those who want to learn different styles.
First-time users of Writinghouse, middle school students, and students who struggle academically would all benefit from a teacher-guided trial run. Teachers may also want to project the site, walk students through demonstrations of each referencing style, and lead discussions on their similarities and differences. Because the site encourages independence, this is a great resource for the final stages of the research process.
Editor's Note: The Writinghouse is no longer available.
Writinghouse is a free online automatic bibliography and citation maker. The site supports four major referencing styles: MLA, APA, Chicago, and Harvard Style. Begin by choosing the style you want, fill in the template with the reference material's information, and then click Add. The entry is added immediately and organized alphabetically as more are added. When done, click Download -- and the bibliography is complete. The site also supports formatting citations with a count tool: Type an excerpt into the field to check the word count and the symbol count with and without spaces.
General questions about formatting in the four styles are answered in the More link.
Writinghouse demystifies the bibliography- and citation-making process. Straightforward templates that conform to each referencing style, as well as the option to compile entries and download and print them, will win over students and teachers alike. The instant gratification of the generator, however, may hinder students' potential for truly understanding the how and why of the different styles. And the informational entries in the More link may be too dense for students who need more support to complete the templates.