Most books and articles you find through the library website are suitable as sources for your paper - but some are not!
This 5-minute silent video will make it clear.
When you find a source, study it to see whether it's "scholarly". Scholarly publications include footnotes and bibliographies documenting their sources, list the author's credentials, and in most cases have been validated through a peer review process.
For more details, see our Critical Evaluation of Resources page.
If you're using web pages found through Google or other search engines, evaluation is especially important, since these tools have no built-in validation of the content. For help, see our guide to Evaluating Web Pages.
Many article databases contain information about articles (citations or abstracts), not the entire text of the article. Once you've used an article database to find articles on your topic, you may need to use this button: in order to locate and read the full text of the article. The UC-eLinks button appears in nearly all the databases available from the UCB Library website.
UC-eLinks will link you to the online full text of an article if UCB has paid for online access; otherwise, UC-eLinks will help you locate a print copy on the shelf in the library. If UCB doesn't own the article in print or online format, UC-eLinks can also help you order a copy from another library.
For more information, watch this video tutorial (about 4 min.)
You can also set up UC-eLinks to work with Google Scholar. For more information, watch this 40-second demo.
For more examples, link to our e-book, Cite Right: A Quick Guide to Citation Styles, chapter 4 "MLA Style."
An annotated bibliography lists important works you will use in your research: articles, books, chapter, reports, etc.
Your annotations are not just summaries, but are meant to inform the reader why each work is significant, how it relates to other works on the subject, and how well it succeeds in its task.
Here are a couple of excellent online guides to preparing an annotated bibliography.
When you use this chat widget a reference librarian from Berkeley, or another UC campus, or another academic library around the US may be answering your question. We share information about our libraries to make sure you get good answers.
If the librarian can't answer you well enough, your question will be referred to a Berkeley librarian for followup.
Have fun chatting.
"There are no dumb questions!"
That's the philosophy of reference librarians, who are here to save you time and trouble. If you get stuck, you can talk to a reference librarian at any campus library.
Other ways to get help: in person, by e-mail, using specialized chat services
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