One of the more unpleasant parts of my job is teaching MLA citation of sources, a crucial part of writing any research-based paper. The rules are abundant and detailed. It is important for students to have a basic understanding of the rules, but it is also helpful for them to have a tool to make the process more manageable.
For years, I have used EasyBib.com with my students, but there were so many pitfalls to avoid that it didn’t seem much of an improvement over creating a page from scratch. I made a video that was full of “don’t do this” and “be sure you do that” to try to help them around the issues, and took to calling it “Not-So-Easy-Bib.”
Frustrated, a few weeks ago I searched for “best free citation sites” and found Citefast! It is far superior to EasyBib. There are no required ads to watch in order to use the “free” site, and the “copy and paste” button actually works; the one on EasyBib seems to be a booby trap designed to produce an incorrectly formatted page. Also, even though the Easybib form included a “date accessed” entry blank, the final page never included the date on the finished page. With Citefast, the entered access date automatically shows up in the Works Cited entry.
Even with Citefast, students still need a basic grasp of Works Cited rules, and they still need to be something of a “detective” in finding the needed information. But all around, Citefast is easy to use and produces a beautiful, accurate page, as long as the information is correctly entered.
Take a look at the video I created during one of my local classes and see for yourself!