Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What I've Been Using Lately - BibMe

In an attempt to try to be more regular with my postings, I'm going to initiate a series called "What I've Been Using Lately".  This will mainly feature tools that I find myself using often and transparently either with my own prep work or with students.  I have many of these kinds of tools in my arsenal, and over the past few years I've written about many of them in this blog.  It struck me as I looked through my archives recently that many of the tools and techniques I've featured here are ones I still use - I would call those kinds of tools "worth it".

So today, I'm going to highlight a great little tool that English teachers probably hate but that I LOVE!  It's called BibMe and the sole purpose of the site is to help users create bibliographies in MLA or APA format.  Now I learned how to do all of this stuff the hard way back in high school, but after college, my need for such skills kind went way down.  However, now that I am once again taking courses, as well as publishing once in awhile, I do have a need.  Granted, once you learn the system, citing your sources is not all that difficult, but it is time consuming. Besides the usual - books, magazines, newspapers, websites, journals and films - BibMe makes it easy to cite weird sources like interviews, lectures, radio and tv shows, encyclopedia entries, and even photographs.

BibMe searches lots of internet databases so you have to do very little, if any, entry yourself.  Citing a website? Just copy and paste in the URL. Citing a book or journal? Type in the ISBN. Citing an article or something where you don't know the ISBN? Just type in the title and author.  BibMe is fairly accurate at coming up with what you're looking for.

Best of all, if you sign up for a free account with BibMe, it keeps a list of all of the sources you've listed in your account, so you can go back to them any time.  Even if you don't sign up for an account, it still keeps a listing of your works cited for quite awhile.  BibMe allows you the option to download your lists to Word as well. 

With the click of a button, BibMe will change formatting between APA and MLA - simple!

Citing sources can be a time consuming process. I would say that if your high school students have a good handle on how these formats are supposed to look, let them use BibMe!

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