Jigsaw: Learning MLA Parenthetical Citation Conventions


Materials and set-up:  Computer Classroom 916.  Computers.  A variety of handbooks. (Adaptable to any classroom, and all that is needed are handbooks.)  Plans are timed for a three-hour class.


Five minutes:

1. Number off 1-4 to form four base groups in the class of 16 (four members per group are needed).

2. The base groups are convened and spread out in the room in their clusters.

3. Form the experts groups by giving each of the four members of each base group a different colored slip of paper with one of four research questions on them:

4. Explain the research task (below)


Seventy-five minutes:

5. The experts meet as a group in order to pair up.  One pair is assigned to find answers to their research question in the handbooks on the resource shelf, and the other pair finds resources on-line to answer their question.


6. Experts teach each other what they learned from their sources and, together, each experts group makes a bulleted list of answers. Additionally,

the Whens make a flow chart or an if / then diagram to show what to cite,

the Whats and the Hows include an example showing how to punctuate each type of citation, and

the Whys illustrate graphically or dramatistically the consequences of not citing sources.


Sixty minutes:

7.  Return to base groups and teach your colleagues the why, what, when and how of MLA parenthetical citing

The goal: Show mastery of MLA parenthetical citation conventions by scoring 80% or above on a quiz of 15 to 20 questions.


Fifteen minutes:

8. Introduce the outside threat: At our next class you will be quizzed from your submitted questions and some that I may add.  We will compete with another English 111 class to score higher than 80% on the parenthetical citations quiz.  Losing class buys the winning  class pizza or doughnuts.


9. Individually, everyone writes three quiz questions from the answers to the question you researched, i.e., from your experts group, and submits them for the quiz.



Next class

1. At the start, give the quizzes individually, and collect them.


2. Form into the base groups to discuss the quiz answers among themselves while the quizzes are being marked.


3. A score of 80% or above on the quiz is necessary for individuals to receive 3 points for the citing group project.  Quizz takers scoring below 80% will earn 2 points for the citing project.


4.  Collect pizza or doughnut money from the other class.

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