Course Activity: “Children’s Book Citations”


Assignment Title: Children’s Book Citations

Authors: Megan Heise, Carnegie Mellon University (

Date published: August, 2022

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Class Info/Tags: Face-to-Face, Hybrid, Synchronous, Composition Studies, Multimodal Rhetorics

Course Motivation: This course (English 101) encourages students to develop genre and language knowledge, fosters academic inquiry and research knowledge, builds students’ argument knowledge, and stimulates students’ multimodal knowledge and collaboration.

Context of Use: This classroom assignment is utilized mid-semester, when students have learned how to find and assess sources through library databases and Google Scholar, and in advance of Double Entry Journal and Annotated Bibliography assignments. The goal is to teach them the basics of different citation styles, as well as to move from using sources for knowledge telling to knowledge transforming.

Instructor Reflection: “I have found the most success when I’ve done this activity in person with my own personal collection of children’s books, which some instructors may not have access to. I’ve found it challenging to find online alternatives that work in hybrid and synchronous online environments. What I love about this activity is that it is not only effective in helping students practice citations and move from knowledge telling to knowledge transforming, but it’s also a moment of fun and levity at a point in the semester (near midterms) when this lightness is very needed and appreciated by students. I also appreciate their nuanced analyses of these seemingly simple children’s texts, which always show keen insights as well as a sense of humor.”

About Author

Jennifer Burke Reifman

Jennifer Burke Reifman is a 5th year Education Ph.D. Candidate at U.C. Davis with an emphasis in Writing, Rhetoric, and Composition Studies. Her research focuses on technology in the writing classroom, writing program administration, and student identity and agency. When she isn't being a graduate student and writing teacher, she spends most of her time playing with her 3-year old son, tending her backyard garden, or diving into a video game.

Sarah Hughes

Sarah Hughes is a PhD candidate in the Joint Program in English & Education at the University of Michigan, where she also teaches in the English Department Writing Program. Her research interests include digital rhetoric, gender and discourse, and gaming studies. Her dissertation project explores how women use multimodal discourse—grammatically, narratively, and visually—to navigate online gaming ecologies.