Welcome to the library's research guide for evaluating sources! When evaluating sources, you investigate where the source comes from, who the authors are, when it was published, what institutions are involved, and more! Please click on the tabs to learn more.
For further assistance, feel free to call us at 215-709-8851, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or text us. Texting details are to the left!
Follow these steps to evaluate your materials:
1. Who is the author? The most common places to find the name of the author are: title page (a book and sometimes article will have this), title information at top of first page (articles, book chapters), end of the article (encyclopedias), or top or bottom of page (web pages).
2. What are the author's credentials? Examine the item for information about the author, search the web for the author's personal website, or search for articles or the library's book catalog for other works by the author.
3. Who is the publisher? Make sure you are able to find a publisher. You can even examine the publisher's website. Are they commercial (trying to sell you something), or institutional (affiliated with academics)?
4. Does the author portray a particular bias? (bias = leaning toward one perspective at the expensive of another).
5. Are both sides of a controversial issue presented? You want sources that are going to be up front with you - ones that won't try to hide any information!
6. Does the information appear to be valid and well-researched? The information must be valid, or it will not help your studies!
7. Are arguments and conclusions supported by evidence? There needs to be evidence in order for the source to be worth your time!
8. Is the information well-organized? Look at the table of contents to see if there is organization, and skim the text. A scholarly source will be organized.
What is a scholarly source? It's usually a book, article, or website that contains original research and lots of high-level, technical language. The authors of these articles, books, and websites are widely considered to be experts in their fields. Websites are acceptable sources, as long as your professor allows you to use them. Look for sites that are current and objective in purpose and scope.
What is a popular source? This would be a newspaper or magazine article. These articles are entertaining, easy to understand, and filled with pictures.
The databases listed below will help you find scholarly, peer-reviewed articles. Just click on any of the links, you will be taken to that particular database. Then, type a "keyword" into the search bar to find materials on your subject. *Note: these are just a few of the databases the Del Val library has. For a complete list, please click here.
If you are confused about what a database is, or what a keyword search is, then please watch the videos below. They will be very helpful! The videos are borrowed from other libraries, so if you have any further questions, please contact a Del Val librarian, or stop in the library!
Consult these manuals in the library if you'd like!
If you don't see the citation example that you need, try one of these resources or contact the library for assistance.
Book Chapter from Anthology or Edited Work -- Online/Electronic
Epstein, Leslie. "The Roar of the Crowd." Scoring from Second: Writers on Baseball. Ed.
Philip F. Deaver. Lincoln: Bison, 2007. 99-103. Web. 15 May 2008.
Book Chapter from Anthology or Edited Work -- Print
Bordo, Susan. "The Moral Content of Nabokov's Lolita." Aesthetic Subjects. Ed. Pamela R.
Matthews and David McWhirter. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2003. 125-52. Print.
Entire Book -- Online/Electronic
Garcia Landa, Jose Angel, comp. A Bibliography of Literary Theory, Criticism and Philology.
13th ed. U de Zaragoza, 2008. Web. 15 May 2008.
Entire Book -- Print
Hutcheon, Linda, and Michael Hutcheon. Bodily Charm: Living Opera. Lincoln: U of
Nebraska P, 2000. Print.
"de Kooning, Willem." Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2008.
Web. 15 May 2008.
Entry in Reference Work -- Print
Allen, Anita L. "Privacy in Health Care." Encyclopedia of Bioethics. Ed. Stephen G. Post. 3rd
ed. Vol. 4. New York: Macmillan-Thomson, 2004. Print.
Journal Article (Scholarly) -- Online
Tolson, Nancy. "Making Books Available: The Role of Early Libraries, Librarians, and
Booksellers in the Promotion of African American Children's Literature." African
American Review 32.1 (1998): 9-16. JSTOR. Web. 5 June 2008.
Journal Article (Scholarly) -- Print
Piper, Andrew. "Rethinking the Print Object: Goethe and the Book of Everything." PMLA
121.1 (2006): 124-38. Print.
Magazine Article -- Online
Green, Joshua. "The Rove Presidency." The Atlantic.com. Atlantic Monthly Group, Sept.
2007. Web. 15 May 2008.
Magazine Article -- Print
McEvoy, Dermot. "Little Books, Big Success." Publishers Weekly 30 Oct. 2006: 26-28. Print.
Newspaper Article -- Online
"The Scientists Speak." Editorial. New York Times. New York Times, 20 Nov. 2007. Web. 15
Newspaper Article -- Print
McKay, Peter A. "Stocks Feel the Dollar's Weight." Wall Street Journal 4 Dec. 2006: C1+.
Web Page -- with Author and Date
Lipson, Charles. "Advice on Getting a Great Recommendation." Charles Lipson. 2010. Web.
5 May 2010.
Web Page -- no Author or Date
"I Love Lucy: Series Summary." Sitcoms Online. Sitcoms Online, n.d. Web. 5 May 2010.
Citation examples taken from the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (seventh edition) and Cite Right. Both manuals are available for in-library use.
Please note, the 7th edition of the APA includes some changes from the previous edition. Changes are indicated below by highlight.
A title page is required for all APA Style papers, unless noted otherwise by your professor. Students should follow the guidelines fo their instructor when determining which title page format is mst appropriate to use. If not instructed otherwise, students should include the following elements on the title page.
NOTE: Student title pages do not require a running head, unlike a professional title page.
University attended, including department or division
Course number and name
Assignment due date
When the author's name appears in the sentence, it does not need to be repeated in the citation.
Recent literature has examined long-run price drifts following initial public offerings and other factors (Luna, 2020).
Luna (2020) reaches more or less the same conclusion.
Two or more sources within same parentheses
Order the citations of two or more works by different authors within the same parentheses alphabetically in the same order in which they appear in the reference list (including citations that would otherwise shorten to et al.). Separate the citations with semicolons.
Several studies (Adams et al., 2019; Shumway & Shulman, 2015; Westinghouse, 2017))...
For people with osteoarthritis, "painful joints should be moved through a full range of motion every day to maintain flexibility and to slow deterioration of cartilage" (Flores, 2019, p. 20).
(Gecht-Silver & Duncombe, 2015, p. 210)
More than three authors
(Smith et al., 2014, p. 203)
(Title Page #)
(Plagiarism and You 1942)
("Five Ways to Protect Yourself" 1993)
No page number
Because the material does not include page numbers, you can include any of the following in the text to cite the quotation:
(Anderson, 2013, para. 1).
Start the reference list on a new page after the txt and before any tables, figures, and/or appendices. Label the reference list "References," capitalized, in bold, and centered.
Double-space all reference list entries (including between and within references).
Use a hanging indent for all references, meaning that the first line of each reference is flush left and subsequent lines are indented by 0.5 in.
Works are listed in alphabetical order by the last name of the first listed author.
Last name, Initials. (Year). Article title, sentence style capitalization. Journal title, volume(issue, if available), pages. URL, if no DOI available
Ahmann, E. (2018). A descriptive review of ADHD coaching research: Implications for college students. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 31(1), 17-39. https://www.ahead.org/professional-resources/publications/jped/archived-jped/jped-volume-31
Journal article with multiple authors
Last name, Initials., & Last name, Initials. (Year). Article title, sentence style capitalization. Journal title, volume(issue, if available), pages. URL, if no DOI available
McCauley, S. M., & Christiansen, M. H. (2019). Language learning as language use: A cross-linguistic model of child language development. Psychological Review, 126(1), 1-51. https://doi.org/10.1037/rev0000126
When a source has twenty-two or more authors, include first twenty-one … last listed author.
Kalnay, E., Kanamitsu, M., Kitler, R., Collins, W., Deaven, D., Gandin, L., Iredell, M., Saha, S., White, G., Woolen, J., Zhu, Y., Chelliah, M., Ebisuzaki, W., Higgins, W., Janowiak, J., Mo, K. C., Ropelewski, C., Wang, J., Leetman, A., . . . Joseph, D. (1996). The NCEP/NCAR 40-year reanalysis project. Bulletin of the americna Meteorological Society, 77(3), 437-471. http://doi.org/fg6rf9
Last name, Intials. (Year). Title, sentence style capitalization. Publisher's name.
Burgess, R. (2019). rethinking global health: Frameworks of power. Routledge.
Books with multiple authors
Last name, Initials, & Last name, Initials. (Year). Title, sentence style capitalization (edition, if available). Publisher's name.
Christian, B., & Griffiths, T. (2016). algorithms to live by: The computer science of human decisions. Henry Holt and Co.
Chapter in edited book
Last name, Initials. (Year). Chapter title, sentence style capitalization. In Editor (eds.), Title, sentence style capitalization (pages). Publisher's name.
Weinstock, R., Leong, G., & Silva, J. A. (2003). Defining forensic psychiatry: Roles and responsibilities. In R. Rosner (Ed.), Principles and practice of forensic psychiatry (2nd ed., pp. 7-13). CRC Press.
Name v. Name, Volume Source Page (Court Date)
Lessard v. Schmidt, 349 F. Supp. 1078 (E.D. Wis. 1972)
To cite the reference in text, give the case name, in italics, and the year.
Name v. Name (Year)
(Name v. Name, Year)
Lessard v. Schmidt (1972)
(Lessard v. Schmidt, 1972)
In APA Style, most legal materials are cited in the standard legal citation style used for legal references across all disciplines.
A statute is a law or act passed by a legislative body. As with court decisions, statutes exist on both the federal and state levels, such as an act by Congress or by a state government.
Name of Act, Title Source § Section Number (Year). URL
Every Student Succeeds Act, 20 U.S.C. § 6301 (2015). https://www.congress.gov/114/plaws/publ95/PLAW-114publ95.pdf
The in-text citation format for a federal statute is similar to that for other APA Style references. Cite the name of the statute and the year.
Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (2006)
(Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, 2006)
Last name, Initials, & Last name, Initials. (Year). Title, sentence style capitalization (Report number, if available). Publisher's name.URL.
National Cancer Institute. (2018). Facing forward: Life after cancer treatment (NIH Publication No. 18-2424). U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health. https://www.cancer.gov/publications/patient-education/life-after-treatment.pdf
Last name, Initials. (Year). Title, sentence style capitalization. Journal name, volume, starting page.
Martin, L. H. (1991). Case worker liability for the negligent handling of child abuse reports. University of Cincinnati Law Review, 60, 191.
Last name, Initials, & Last name, Initials. (Year, month day). Title, sentence style capitalization. Newspaper name. URL
Guariano, B. (2017), December 4). How will humanity react to alien life? Psychologists have some predictions. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2017/12/04/how-will-humanity-react-to-alien-life-psychologists-have-some-predictions
Author or organization name. (Date of publication, if available). Webpage title. URL
Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018, January 23). People at high risk of developing flu-related complications. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/high_risk.htm
When no date is listed
Author or organization name. (n.d.). Webpage title. URL
National Nurses United. (n.d.). What employers should do to protect nurses from Zika. https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/pages/what-employers-should-do-to-protect-rns-from-zika
Account name. (Date of publication). Video name [Video]. Webpage title. URL
Asian Boss. (2020, June 5). World’s leading vaccine expert fact-checks COVID-19 vaccine conspiracy: Stay curious #22 [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQdLDMLrYIA
(Asian Boss, 2020; Harvard University, 2019)
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