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English Foundations: Cite & Evaluate Your Sources

Generating Citations

Many databases, such as Gale Virtual Reference Library and UW Libraries Search, offer a tool that will automatically generate citations in MLA/APA style you can copy/paste into your Works Cited sheet.

You can also plug the title or author of most articles/books into Google Scholar ( and get the citation:

If you use a citation generator, do remember to check the citations for errors using one of the resources in the box below.

Citation Resources

Automatic citation generators are great, but not perfect. Be sure to check your citations before submitting them by using one of the resources below!

Citation Generators

Additional citation generators available on the web, a selection of which are linked to below. Make sure to check the citations generated by websites or databases for accuracy before turning in your paper!

How do I tell if this is a good source?

The following are some good guidelines for recognizing what type of source (scholarly, popular, political, etc.) you are reading and for evaluating its relevance and usefulness to your topic and your research process in general. 

1. Authorship

2. Currency

3. Publishing Body

4. Point of View or Bias

5. References to Other Sources

6. Relevance to Topic and Assignment

7. Format, Organization, Appearance

Image: George Williams. Finding, Evaluating, and Using Sources, 2009. Flickr Creative Commons. 30 August 2010.

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