Citing your sources when doing research is essential. In finding and using informaiton from a rich variety of sources, then use what you find to create novel information through synthesis and analysis. your reader must know from where your informaiton came in order to refer back to it. In this way, you are engaging in a conversation with the researchers and scholars who came before and who will succeed you. The link below will lead you to the Purdue OWL, an online APA format guide. If you have any questions about using this guide, please come see a librarian.
Research is a reflective process. At each step of the process, consider the original context of the information you find, and how it contributes to your research project.
When searching in a catalog or database, evaluate the records in your result list to determine which are worth a closer look.
When trying to decide to use a source, consider its authoritativeness and perspective.
While writing your paper, consider how you can use sources to back up your claims.
Library catalog and database records are full of information you can use to evaluate sources as you find them.
In this handout one of our librarians, Sanjeet Mann, breaks down what the fields in a catalog record mean.
The CRAAP Test -- When searching for information on the Web you’re going to find lots of it … but is it accurate and reliable? Whether reading a book or a website, be an information skeptic--scrutinize, analyze, and evaluate your sources.
• When was the information published or posted?
• Has the information been revised or updated?
• Is the information current or out-of-date for your topic?
• How well does this suit your topic or answer your questions?
• Who is the intended audience?
• Would you be comfortable using this source for a research paper?
• Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
• Are the author’s credentials or organizational affliations given?
• What are the author’s qualifications to write on the topic?
• Is there a way to contact the author?
• Where does the information come from?
• Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
• Can you verify any of the information?
• Does the language or tone seem biased and free of emotion?
• Is the purpose to inform, sell, entertain, or persuade?
• Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions clear?
• Is the information fact? opinion? propaganda?