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Peer Review

MLA Citation Puzzle: Putting the Puzzle Together

by Aline Soules


Overall Numeric Rating:

4 stars
Content Quality: 4.5 stars
Effectiveness: 3 stars
Ease of Use: 4.5 stars
Reviewed: Mar 31, 2014 by English Editorial Board
Overview: This tutorial takes students through the process of developing an MLA citation. The narrator uses the analogy of completing a puzzle to help students learn to find the pieces of information they need in the resources they have used and then put the pieces together in correct MLA style. "MLA Citation Puzzle: Putting the Puzzle Together" provides enough information to allow it to be used alone, although it is meant to build on an earlier tutorial called "Citation Puzzle" ( which helps students identify the "pieces of the puzzle" to be assembled into a citation. (Other related tutorials may be accessed by clicking the "Cite Your Sources" link at
Type of Material: Tutorial
Recommended Uses: The tutorial could be used in class but may be more effective as a library resource or a resource supplement for a writing assignment
Technical Requirements: Requires Flash, sound, a high-speed internet connection and the ability to download files.
Identify Major Learning Goals: Students will learn how to create citations following the guidelines of the seventh edition (2009) of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers.
Target Student Population: Any high school or college student who must use MLA documentation.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: None beyond basic computer skills

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: This is a good tutorial to help students learn to cite resources in several different formats. It breaks the citation process into parts and helps students learn how to find the pieces of information they need in the resources they are using. Next, it shows students how to put the citation together properly. All the details are included, and the graphics actually show what needs to be done.
Concerns: The tutorial allows minimal interaction, although students can pause it and are encouraged to do so in some places.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 3 stars
Strengths: The tutorial offers a detailed and accurate explanation of how to cite sources in MLA form.
Concerns: The site may not attract or keep the attention of unmotivated students, and because it loads rather slowly, impatient students may not view it at all.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: The tutorial starts up easily and works on its own.
Concerns: Because it requires Flash, the tutorial will not work on some devices.

Other Issues and Comments: The narration is done in a monotone and there is little possibility for interaction.