University of Minnesota
African American & African Studies

Department of African American & African Studies home page.

In-Text Citation Diagnostic

What is this tool? This is a low stakes diagnostic activity that can be used as a point of departure for classroom conversations about the proper conventions of doing in-text citations for the type of writing done in your courses.

Why might you find this tool useful? This tool is useful because it communicates to students your expectations for citing sources as textual support in written assignments.

Set-up (instructor notes): Asked students to read three articles, each one presenting a different slant on an issue/debate/key concept. Students are to prepare a 3-4 page essay in which they integrate direct quotes and short summaries of key arguments from the three articles.

TASK 1: Read articles___________, ______________, and ___________.

TASK 2: Have student prepare a 3-4 page essay in which they have to integrate direct quotes as well as integrating short summaries of key ideas from the three articles. Bring 4 copies to class (3 for peer work, 1 to be submitted to instructor).

TASK 3: In-class Portion: Give students 35 minutes to work in groups of four (4). Students are to read each other's work and assess which of the three essays they read does the best job of incorporating sources. The last 5 minutes of the small group work may be allotted for voting for the essay, from their small group, which incorporates quotes/ideas most effectively.

Class Discussion: After group work is completed, instructor has a chance to ask class to share their votes. This is also an ideal moment to explicitly discuss your expectations and answer student questions about the conventions associated with incorporating quotes from course materials or outside sources.

Due: next session or session after next

Evaluation: Point system/check system. It would be best to divide the overall grade for the completion of this diagnostic activity. (e.g. 60% of the grade for writing produced out-of-class and 40% for the in-class group activity)