Limit feedback on citation style and format
Like grammar and conventions, you should score citations according to the rubric when required, but generally should not focus on citations in your feedback unless it has been specifically requested by the teacher.
The Graide Network supports a wide range of schools and students, and we don't always know what students have learned about citations or what the citation expectations for a particular assignment are.
Even when we do know what the citation expectations are, usually there are more fundamental content-focused priorities. For example, often students working on argumentative writing could use guidance around clarifying their thesis, choosing relevant supporting evidence, fully explaining evidence, and adequately connecting it back to their thesis. Feedback in these areas is more likely to help the student craft a compelling argumentative response to the given prompt and develop longer-term argumentative skills than feedback on the intricacies of citation style.
...but if you must comment on citations...
If you are asked to comment on citations, if the assignment is clearly meant to practice research and citation skills, or if a student has used citations so incorrectly or inconsistently that it is distracting or hard to distinguish what parts of their writing come from outside sources, you can refresh on citation specifics at the appropriate link below. Remember that you should focus on the most prominent specific trends and point to clarifying examples so that your feedback is actionable.
- Purdue OWL: MLA Formatting and Style Guide - most common
- Purdue OWL: APA Formatting and Style Guide
- Purdue OWL: Chicago Manual of Style
Worried that a student may have plagiarized? Read more on handling plagiarism and copying here.