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GOVT 2305 SO Bowman: Evaluating Sources and Citation Help

Help with Citing Sources

Citation Tips

Forgetting to document a source is considered plagiarism!

Don't wait until you finish your paper to begin citing your sources. It is a better idea to cite your sources as you find them and use them.  Use these tips to help ensure that documenting your sources is quick and easy!

  1. When you decide to use a source, be sure to copy all the information required to develop a citation.
  2. When you add a quotation to your paper, document the page number (or the paragraph number if no page number is present) of where the quotation was found.
  3. Also, be careful if you cut and paste a quotation from one of our database articles to your paper. It is all too easy, while writing, to cut and paste a quotation without also jotting down the citation information.

The best way to make sure you do not forget to cite the sources you use - cite while you write!

Evaluating Information

Strive to find information that is:

  • Accurate: Inaccurate information will cause you to waste time and resources
  • Unbiased: You want sources that have NO financial stake in your project.
  • Comprehensive: You want information from different kinds of people—in terms of gender, cultural characteristics, and age—and from people representing all viewpoints on the topic.
  • Appropriately technical: Good information is sufficiently detailed to respond to the needs of your readers, but not so detailed that they cannot understand it or do not need it.
  • Current: Information that is old may not accurately reflect today’s situation. Try to stay within the last five years

Clear: You want information that is easy to understand. Do not want you or others to misinterpret it.

Video Tip

What is citation? And why do we do it? This video explains! (1:54 min)
Courtesy NCSU Libraries

Online Citation Generators

These sites have [limited] free, online tools that can help you format citations for your bibliography.