Common Sense Review
Updated May 2013

EasyBib

Helpful citation and writing resource for instant bibliographies
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Common Sense Rating 3
  • Citing a website is pretty easy with EasyBib's Bibliography tools.
  • EasyBib Research allows users to find research materials without even having to leave the site.
  • Educator Resources include lesson plans and a blog written by information literacy experts.
  • An 8-week lesson plan teachers can implement to help students understand the tricky citation process.
  • A series of slide presentation offer guidance on using EasyBib for research projects.
Pros
This handy tool takes all the un-fun parts of writing a research paper and demystifies them, making it less intimidating for students to find and cite the best sources.
Cons
The sidebar ads can be distracting and they're a little pushy about upgrades if you're using the free service.
Bottom Line
EasyBib takes the pain out of citing sources and gives students and teachers a comprehensive place to organize all research paper-related activity.
Polly Conway
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 3

EasyBib isn't all that fun, but it is very helpful for students writing serious research papers. The site's design is tidy and clean with few distractions.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 3

As far as depth, it feels like a little bit of a cheat compared to painstakingly poring over the style manuals. However, kids can learn to focus their energies on the meat of a paper instead of agonizing over where to put a period or comma.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 3

They're well aware that no one likes to cite sources, so EasyBib gives a huge amount of guidance through the process. While the user guide does contain a video how-to, the site is very text heavy and may be challenging for some kids.

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How Can Teachers Use It?

High school students will probably get the most out of the resources EasyBib provides; from their bibliography creator to some really handy virtual notecards, it's a one-stop research shop. Kids can share papers-in-progress with teachers and peers within the site, and there are guides available in the Student Portal to support the process: writing, citation, and topic ideas just to name a few.

For educators, there are a couple of very comprehensive lesson plans on the basics of citation, a blog written by information literacy experts, and professional development webinars. If a school purchases the School or Library Edition, they'll have access to an educator platform that allows teachers to create online classrooms and ways to track student progress. EasyBib's lesson plans would fit in really well to a week or two devoted to research study.  Students in the Internet age may not know what counts as plagiarism; EasyBib clarifies all the rules for them.

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What's It Like?

EasyBib is an information literacy platform that provides citation, note taking, and research tools for students. Using EasyBib's tools, kids can input reference information and have it instantly transformed into any one of the current citation styles (MLA, CMS, etc.). The Citation Guides not only show students what information needs to be included for book, website, or TV show references, but also  where they can find all those details. Students can also save and share papers, create notes, and confirm their source materials all in one place. For teachers who want students to spend more time focused on the meat of their papers and less time nit-picking commas and capital letters on the citations page, EasyBib could be a great classroom resource.

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Is It Good For Learning?

EasyBib is pretty dry, but boy, so is the process of citing sources. The creators do make an effort to simplify the sometimes grueling process of creating a bibliography and explain the purpose and importance of information literacy in a clear way. For kids who constantly devour information online from sources that may or may not be reputable, EasyBib gently shares the reasons why not all Internet sources are good for a research paper. One of their coolest services is a credibility check for all sources; type in a URL and EasyBib will calculate whether it's a legit source, a possibly good source, and an untrustworthy source.

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See how teachers are using EasyBib

Lesson Plans