ACCT 202 Principles of Accounting II

This guide will help students analyze a company's financial health

Quick Guide - APA

Quick Guide - APA Citation Style

Why We Cite Sources

Why cite?

When you present research at school or on the job, you participate in an informed conversation.

You cite your sources, in order to:

  • Act ethically and legally by giving credit to others for their intellectual property, whether ideas, data, images, or words.

  • Demonstrate due diligence and give weight to your analysis.

  • Leave a research path others can follow.

Be sure to cite your sources in your papers and oral presentations!

What is a Citation?
  • Contains information on who wrote it, what it is (title), when it was published, and where you found it (book or other resource title).
  • Used to give credit to the sources you use in your writing.
  • Provides information to help someone find the source.
  • Annotated Bibliographies may include information describing and assessing each source in the reference list.
  • Usually uses either APA or MLA style.

Evaluating Information

How can you determine if you have a "good" information source? 

Try to SIFT your Sources:

Use the technique of Lateral Reading to Validate Claims and Sources

(click on image to enlarge)

SIFT: Stop. Investigate. Find a better Source. Trace back to Source

This work is licensed under a creative commons attribution license.

  1. STOP: Before trusting a source, STOP to consider if information is correct, current, and right for your purposes.
  2. INVESTIGATE THE SOURCE: Look up the source of information. Is this source reliable? Does it present reputable, well-researched journalism? Is it edited? Is it opinion? Is it biased? 
  3. FIND BETTER or OTHER COVERAGE: Consider your need and the information. Could you find a more thorough analysis? A more reliable source? Spend time to find the best info for your purposes.
  4. TRACE BACK to ORIGINAL CONTEXT or SOURCE: Information can be manipulated or misinterpreted when it is taken out of context. Look at the original source to determine if the information is accurate.
Other questions to consider:


  • Who publishes the website?  Is this a well-know or respected institution?
  • Is there contact information for authors of the website content?  What is their background or credentials?
  • Is it a commercial site (.com), a government site (.gov), an educational site (.edu), a non-profit or other organization (.org)? How does this affect the information presented?
  • Do other reliable sites link to this one?
  • Are facts, ideas or references credible and backed up by citations to the original sources?


  • What is the purpose of this site: to sell, inform, entertain or persuade?
  • Who sponsors this website?  What is their agenda or goal?
  • For what audience is this site written?
  • Is there advertising on the site? Does this influence information found on the site?
  • Are arguments well-reasoned and supported?
  • Does this source present explicit bias? If so, how does this source's perspective develop your topic?


  • Is the information on the page up-to-date?
  • Is the page updated regularly?
  • Are there dead links?

Automatic Citation Generator


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