Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
When you present research, you participate in an informed conversation.
You cite your sources, in order to:
Give credit to others for their ideas, data, and 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 paper and oral presentations!
What is a Citation?
- A short description of the source for your information.
- Contains information on who wrote it, what it is (title), 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 include a paragraph describing each article or book in the reference list.
- Usually uses either APA or MLA style.
How can you determine if you have a "good" information source?
Assess the following:
AUTHORITY and ACCURACY
- 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?
PURPOSE and OBJECTIVITY
- 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?
- Is the information on the page up-to-date?
- Is the page updated regularly?
- Are there dead links?
- What is the source's thesis? (According to the author, __________________.)
- How does the thesis develop, support, or refute your topic? (I learned ___________ about my topic as a result of reading this source.)
- Does this source present explicit bias? If so, how does this source's perspective develop your topic?
Image from the NYPL Digital Gallery. No known restrictions on use.
This guide gives information on how to cite sources in academic papers:
Automatic Citation Generator
NoodleTools Citation Generator
Create citations and track your research using NoodleTools.
Access online tutorials using the links below: