I’ve been teaching research for my entire career. It began horribly, and honestly, it was because I was downright lazy. I demanded citations for everything but did little to teach my students how to make them. More importantly, I never instructed them why the research was important.
After a few years of
surviving gaining experience, I began doing more to help my students facilitate research. I gave handouts, we made works cited pages in class, I bookmarked the OWL Purdue Writing Lab on my computer multiple times (by the way, there’s certain to be a blog post on my love for the OWL Purdue Writing Lab in the future). My students began to learn that research was necessary, but still didn’t really understand why it was important.
A few years ago, I did an overhaul of the way I taught writing in my classes, and it was inspired by Kelly Gallagher’s brilliant book, Write Like This (there will definitely be future blog posts about this book and Kelly Gallagher). One of the things I took away was presenting students with reasons for why they write, and that applies to research as well. I began to emphasize the importance of conducting ethical research, and for finding ways to make it easier for high school students to do it.
Enter: The Credible Hulk.
In a search to add some humor to my classroom, (ok, to be honest, I fell down a Pinterest path and discovered memes), I found this meme about the Credible Hulk. After laughing for an inappropriate amount of time, I posted it in my classroom. In 2016, MLA updated their citation requirements and I felt the need to explain the new requirements to the rest of the faculty since I’m the biggest MLA nerd
in my school in the state on the planet.
I decided that my students could use a resource wall where they could learn how to cite common sources in their research endeavors. After I created them, I printed them on colored paper and had them laminated. Then I stuck them to the wall with sticky tack.
The sticky tack is an important component of this resource’s success, as my students will often go to the wall and take a citation poster down. They bring it back to their computer, write their citation, and return it to the Citation Wall without incident. The sticky tack makes it easy to remove and replace it, and the lamination keeps the posters from wearing down.
This resource wall, which happily has become known as the Credible Hulk wall, has become well known with my students. Whenever we have a research assignment, in English or even in other subjects, the students wander over to the wall to check their citations. I’ve also printed them off and had them turned into booklets as a resource for my Writing Center coaches in case the wall gets crowded. To score a version of this resource in wall or booklet form click here!