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GRADUATES: EVALUATING & CITING SOURCES

Not All Information is Created Equal!

Once you have found information that meets your information need, you need to analyze and evaluate these information sources. Evaluating information encourages you to think critically about the reliability, validity, accuracy, authority, timeliness, point of view or bias of information sources.

Types of Sources and Information

Criteria for Evaluating Information

Fake News

Peer Review

Rubric for Information Literacy

Do You Need Citation Help?

The Library offers a variety of information literacy instruction. Instructors may request an in-class workshop for Annotations and/or Citations by filling out this form.

The Student Learning Center (SLC) also provides drop-in tutoring. Be sure sure to check their current hours here.

You may also visit the Library for citation help, or use the "Ask a Librarian" form on the Library website.


See also:

 

Citation Guide Using MLA Style

MLA CITATION GUIDE

Includes a section on how to cite different types of sources, including oral histories and YouTube comments.

Citing Sources

Writers must be credited for their work and their writing. Not to do so is to plagiarize.

Plagiarism is defined as intentionally or unintentionally using the ideas, language, or work of another without acknowledgement that such material is not one's own.

Whenever you quote, paraphrase, summarize, or otherwise refer to the work of another, you are required to cite its source. There are several common systems in use. At Otis, the most common style is MLA (which is short for Modern Language Association), but you may come across others. There are style manuals for each style that you can use.

The databases often provide the citation information for the articles in all formats. Look for it!

In addition, note that some research databases, such as ProQuest, and free online resources, such as Wikipedia, offer suggested citations in a variety of styles.

 you quote, paraphrase, summarize, or otherwise refer to the work of another, you are required to cite its source. There are several common systems in use. At Otis, the most common style is MLA (which is short for Modern Language Association), but you may come across others. There are style manuals for each style that you can use.

Citation Help

Using a citation formatter is a very efficient and easy way to create citations in the appropriate format. Try these:

Easybib.com
Citation Machine

NOTE: Database articles unusually include the citation that you can simply copy.

Purdue OWL

The Purdue Online Writing Lab (Purdue OWL) has excellent online manuals for these commonly used citation styles:

 

Sample Annotations: The Otis Way

SAMPLES of annotations for other types of information

Zemel, Carol. "Sorrowing Women, Rescuing Men: Van Gogh's Images Of Women And Family." Art History 10.3 (1987): 351. Art Source. Web. 9 June 2015.

[Author Credentials] Carol Zemel is an art historian with a PhD from Columbia University. She has authored many books and articles in art journals. She was a Professor in the Department of Visual Art & Art History at New York University. 
[Audience/Type of Information] Art History is a peer-reviewed journal. The audience for it is art historians and probably undergraduate majors in art history. The article is an in-depth discussion (24 pages) on the topic. It contains only black and white illustrations. Otherwise, the text is mostly text-based with lots of footnotes and a bibliography.
[Bias / Point of View] The author has a feminist focus, and she uses historical information to demonstrate that VG's paintings of women reflected society views on female sexuality and prostitution. She argues that he viewed prostitutes as fallen women who could be saved through a proper domestic life.  The author questions the 19th century male assumption of what all women inherently wanted.
[Currency of the Source] This article was published in 1987, which was after the feminist theory had been well developed so that perspective is included. There were a couple of other articles about Van Gogh and women that I can also use as a comparison.
[Relevance to Paper] This article discusses the images of women and family in the paintings Vincent van Gogh. I was interested in Van Gogh’s views about women and there was a substantial number of examples and theories of Van Gogh’s view about women that I can use in my paper.

Sample Annotation #3

Sample Annotation #3

Wallace, Amy, and Tim Burton. "Tim Burton /." Los Angeles Magazine 56.5 (2011): 38-40. OmniFile Full Text Select (H.W. Wilson). Web. 11 June 2015.
[Author Credentials] Amy Wallace is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared many well-known popular magazines including GQ, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Esquire, and Elle. She spent four years as a Senior Writer at Los Angeles Magazine and is now Editor-at-Large. 
[Audience/Type of Information] Los Angeles Magazine is a large-circulation popular magazine. Tim Burton has mass appeal, so this could be classified at General Interest/Substantial News.
[Purpose / Bias / Point of View] I think the point of view is promotional. Essentially, the publication promotes people or activities associated with Los Angeles. In this case, Burton was having an exhibition at LACMA.
[Relevance to Paper]  This article is very short, but Burton does discuss his involvement with Los Angeles, his education at CalArts and his exhibition at LACMA. It gave me some basic facts, but not much more.

allace, Amy, and Tim Burton. "Tim Burton /." Los Angeles Magazine 56.5 (2011): 38-40. OmniFile Full Text Select (H.W. Wilson). Web. 11 June 2015.
[Author Credentials] Amy Wallace is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared many well-known popular magazines including GQ, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Esquire, and Elle. She spent four years as a Senior Writer at Los Angeles Magazine and is now Editor-at-Large. 
[Audience/Type of Information] Los Angeles Magazine is a large-circulation popular magazine. Tim Burton has mass appeal, so this could be classified at General Interest/Substantial News.
[Purpose / Bias / Point of View] I think the point of view is promotional. Essentially, the publication promotes people or activities associated with Los Angeles. In this case, Burton was having an exhibition at LACMA.
[Relevance to Paper]  This article is very short, but Burton does discuss his involvement with Los Angeles, his education at CalArts and his exhibition at LACMA. It gave me some basic facts, but not much more.
Wallace, Amy, and Tim Burton. "Tim Burton /." Los Angeles Magazine 56.5 (2011): 38-40. OmniFile Full Text Select (H.W. Wilson). Web. 11 June 2015.
[Author Credentials] Amy Wallace is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared many well-known popular magazines including GQ, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Esquire, and Elle. She spent four years as a Senior Writer at Los Angeles Magazine and is now Editor-at-Large. 
[Audience/Type of Information] Los Angeles Magazine is a large-circulation popular magazine. Tim Burton has mass appeal, so this could be classified at General Interest/Substantial News.
[Purpose / Bias / Point of View] I think the point of view is promotional. Essentially, the publication promotes people or activities associated with Los Angeles. In this case, Burton was having an exhibition at LACMA.
[Relevance to Paper]  This article is very short, but Burton does discuss his involvement with Los Angeles, his education at CalArts and his exhibition at LACMA. It gave me some basic facts, but not much more.

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