COLWRIT R4B: Writing About War

Citing Sources

Properly citing sources is an important part of your research.  It allows you to avoid plagiarism and highlights your engagement with related scholarship.

In a nutshell:  "Whenever you quote or base your ideas on another person's work, you must document the source you used. Even when you do not quote directly from another work, if reading that source contributed to the ideas presented in your paper, you must give the authors proper credit." 

The above extract is taken from the Library's guide on citing sources.  Besides providing an overview, it links to formatting rules for the major style guides in use, including those for the MLA style (via Purdue University).

* SHORTCUT: Many databases allow you to export citations in a given style (MLA, APA, etc.) . When provided, this functionality is often found in the email options. *

Evaluating sources

Research is as credible as the work that goes into it! It's important to analyze the information you find, including where it comes from. 

While a magazine or journal article database lists results from sources known to be reputable/scholarly, finding material via Google requires additional evaluation on your part.

Scholarly & popular

Some research databases contain popular and scholarly content (articles from magazines, newspapers, etc., in addition to those from scholarly journals).

You may want to limit results to scholarly content. If so, you can choose a resource that only contains it, or, if using one with mixed content, you can limit to scholarly materials (here's how).

If you want popular materials, many General article databases (see Resources tab) contain news and magazine content in addition of scholarly materials.

Last Update: September 21, 2011 11:16