Citing as a sourcing practice: students’ citing self-selected online sources in their essays (Las citas como práctica del uso de las fuentes: las citas de fuentes en línea seleccionados por los estudiantes en sus trabajos)

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This study examined upper secondary school students’ citations of self-selected online sources in their essays. Students (n = 140) conducted online inquiry about either effects of social media on people’s quality of life (SM) or allowance of genetic manipulation of organisms (GMO). Students, working either individually or in pairs, explored online sources with the help of a graphic organizer, after which they composed their essays. To capture the quality of citations identified in the essays, they were evaluated in terms of accuracy and richness of source features. Further, regression analysis was used to examine the effect of topic, grade level and work mode on the number and quality of citations. Results showed that students seldom cited sources in their essays, and when they did, citations were mostly accurate but less often rich in source features. When writing about SM, students most frequently cited media sources, while sources with ideological, political or religious motives were frequently cited in GMO essays. Students’ grades and work modes predicted the number of citations and number of accurate citations.

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Infancia y Aprendizaje