The increasing rate of generic exercises as a result of incorrect citations, even among the brightest students has become an issue of concern in our schools (Van Note Chism & Weerakoon, 2012). We, therefore, undertook a study to help identify the reasons behind the poor performance on the subject. Establishing the reasons behind the difficulties encountered by students when tackling simple APA tasks was one of the key objectives of the study. The study further sought to identify reasons leading to frequent errors in the citation, factors affecting student’s choice regarding sources of information on the subject of citation and factors influencing their metacognition process. Identifying the right sources of information are critical in carrying out any study. In this study, the both students and instructors acted as respondents on the subject of concern.
Cognitive confusion, as well as decreased mental imaging, has been linked to student’s ability to understand various citation styles including the stark similarities that exist among them. Also, personal preferences, inner drive and little practice also tend to affect one’s ability to comprehend on the subject. As a result, our study identified some factors that may be linked to the challenge. They included; cognitive confusion diminished mental imaging, drive, personal preferences, and too little practices as well as an aggregate of these factors in the errors made in the citation in APA style. Therefore, the study took all these aspects in consideration as it sought to establish the key reasons behind the poor mastering of citations in the APA styles. The elements would act as key pointers to the reasons the behind our final findings as we undertake the study.
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At the end of the study, findings pointed out various reasons as to why students tend challenges in handling simple APA tasks, prefer using the internet rather than printed sources when choosing citation styles and have poor metacognition process (Van Note Chism & Weerakoon, 2012). It also became clear that the thinking process of students plays a crucial role in making correct APA citations. It also became clear from the results that most students often prefer using online references rather than credible printed sources. Basing on the findings, instructors should, therefore, devise more effective ways of improving students’ thought process and metacognition. Both the instructors and students are encouraged to use credible sources when tackling the subject on the citation to avoid confusion among their students. From the findings, it is evident that poor citation styles among students have been contributed by both students and instructors. It is therefore, important to ensure that both students and instructors work together as a team to establish a lasting solution to the problem.
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Van Note Chism, N., & Weerakoon, S. (2012). APA, Meet Google: Graduate Students' Approaches to Learning Citation Style. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning , Vol 12, Issue 2, pp. 27-38.