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RSC 507: Scholarly Writing: Citation Help

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Get help with any and all citation and paper problems: in-text, bibliography/works cited, etc.

Get help with any and all citation and paper problems: in-text, bibliography/works cited, etc.

Get help with any and all citation and paper problems: in-text, bibliography/works cited, etc.

Citation Management Tools

Citation Guides Overview

Why Cite?

  • Adds credibility to your work
  • Offers a research trail
  • Provides evidence for your argument
  • Gives credit where credit is due!

When to Cite?

Whenever you include a word, phrase, or idea from a source. That source can include a web page, classroom lecture, an interview with your Uncle Pete, a quote or summary from a book, magazine, etc.

Even a single word from someone else, when included in your own essay, needs to be set off with quotation marks and then cited.

MLA - Modern Language Association

  • Usually used when writing about humanities--philosophy, history, literature, rhetoric and communication
  • 2 parts of MLA citation: in the body of your document and in the works cited list

In the body of your paper:

The first gambling website appeared in 1995, and online gambling has since become the most lucrative Internet business (Will 92).

In your works cited list:

Will, George F. "Electronic Morphine." Newsweek 25 Nov. 2002: 92.

For more information on using MLA, click here.

APA - American Psychological Association

  • Usually used when writing about anthropology, education, linguistics, political science, psychology and sociology
  • Include a page header at the top of every page
  • Include a title page
  • Usually include an abstract
  • 2 parts of APA citations: in the body of your document and in the references list

In the body of your paper:

Yanovski and Yanovski (2002) reported that “the current state of the treatment for obesity is similar to the state of the treatment of hypertension several decades ago” (p. 600).

In your references list:

Yanovski, S. Z., & Yanovski, J. A. (2002). Drug therapy: Obesity. The New England Journal of Medicine, 346, 591-602.

For more information on using APA, click here.

Evaluation Criteria - C.R.A.A.P.

Evaluating Information Using the C.R.A.A.P. Test

There is a lot of information available on the web. Anyone with a little knowledge and time can put information on the web. There is no regulatory body governing the content of individual websites. It is therefore important that you evaluate the information with a critical eye. A useful tool to do this is the C.R.A.A.P. test*. The C.R.A.A.P. test consists of a series of questions designed to evaluate the information found on the web.
Please note: it is not all inclusive, as some criteria may be more or less relevant depending on the website.


CURRENCY: The timeliness of the information.

  • 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? (Online)
  • Are the links functional? (Online)

RELEVANCY: The importance of the information for your needs.

  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e., not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?
  • Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use?
  • Would you be comfortable using this source for a research paper?

AUTHORITY: The source of the information.

  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
  • Are the author’s credentials or organizational affiliations given?
  • What are the author’s qualifications to write on the topic?
  • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or email address? (Online)
  • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source? examples: .com .edu .gov .org .net

ACCURACY: The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the informational content.

  • Where does the information come from?
  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
  • Can you verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?
  • Does the language or tone seem biased and free of emotion?
  • Are there spelling, grammar, or other typographical errors?

PURPOSE: The reason the information exists.

  • What is the purpose of the information? to inform? teach? sell? entertain? persuade?
  • Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
  • Is the information fact? opinion? propaganda?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?

(Online) indicates criteria is for the web only.

*The C.R.A.A.P. acronym and descriptions are from Meriam Library at California State University Chico. C.R.A.A.P. Test from the Meriam Library website.