Review by Amy Lauren Botula, Common Sense Education | Updated September 2014

Writinghouse

Automatic bibliography and citation maker makes formatting a snap

Subjects & skills
Skills
N/A

Subjects
  • English Language Arts
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
8-12
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (1 Review)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Students will appreciate the site's straightforward design. They can begin compiling citations right away from the homepage. Simply select a style, fill in the information, and voila -- the bibliography’s done!

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

This tool offers the opportunity to understand major referencing styles, but the instant gratification of the generator may limit students' motivation to actually learn those styles.

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

Support is limited to a Contact Us email address.


Teacher Reviews

(See all 1 reviews) (1 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Rae O. , Other
Other
Quick and easy bibliography formatting that can be downloaded and inserted into a paper.

Might be useful in pointing out the different ways a bibliography is created however it does nothing for deep understanding of the creation of a bibliography as the site does all the work for the student.

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