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MLA and Evaluating Sources

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J Miller

on 18 October 2011

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Transcript of MLA and Evaluating Sources

author credentials and affiliations
author qualifications (why is this person qualified to write on this topic?)
contact information (legitimate sources aren't afraid to reveal their identities)
publisher/sponsor information
who is linking to the site?
what might the URL/domain tell you about the source? (.edu, .com, .gov, .org, etc.) Review of MLA format Integrating sources Critically evaluating sources (especially websites) MLA
the Legitimacy
of Sources Charles "T" Jones Leadership Library Jill Hallam-Miller, MSLS Why use MLA style?
General page layout
General rules In-text citations
Quotes vs. paraphrases
Excluding and inserting
Long quotes
Signal phrases Works Cited Characteristics
Hanging indent
Where to find citation info Why evaluate sources?
The CRAAP test Plagiarism
(and some notes on *Easy Bib) Getting help Consistent format
Rules for citation
Intro to writing styles May vary from class to class - check with your professor!!!
1” margins (top, bottom, left, and right)
Aligned left
1st line of paragraph indented ½” (equal to a Tab key)
Times New Roman 12-point font General rules: short citations
author and page (Jones 114)
direct quotes AND paraphrases
points to entry in Works Cited Quotes (exact words) are used when... the language is especially expressive
exact words are needed for technical accuracy
the words lend authority to the argument
the specific language is being analyzed Paraphrase (restate in your own words) when... quoting is unnecessary
you want to convey the general idea Excluding words from a quote to condense a passage: must remain grammatically correct
replace excluded words with ellipsis . . . Inserting your own words into a quote: clarify a confusing concept
replace a pronoun with a proper noun
make a sentence grammatically correct in your context
use brackets around inserted words Long quotes: 4 or more lines of regular text
3 or more lines of poetry
use sparingly
introduce with informative sentence ending with colon
whole quote indented one inch from left
no quotation marks
citation AFTER punctuation Signal phrases: introduce quotes or paraphrases
"signal" to reader that info is borrowed
usually include author's name
may explain why person is being cited (Jane Doe, an expert in behavior analysis, explains that...)
still need citation, but only include page number
try not to use the same signal phrase over and over and over Example of a signal phrase: Jane Doe, an expert in sandwich-making, explains that mustard should not be placed directly on bread until the sandwich is about to be consumed (114). Author variations: Two = (Malkin and Crosby 23)
Three = (Malkin, Crosby, and Jones 87)
Four or more = (Malkin et al. 219)
Same last name = (S. Malkin 48)
No author = use title of book, article, or website
Indirect source = (qtd. in Malkin 26) end of paper
on its own page (use page break feature)
full citations
listed alphabetically
double spaced
hanging indent
basic information includes: author, title, publication information, medium Works Cited Characteristics: Hanging indent: Finding citation information: book – title page(s)
EBSCO – abstract view
website – print preview
newspapers, magazines, journals - cover and article page(s) CITATION GENERATORS (like Easy Bib) ARE ONLY AS GOOD AS THE INFORMATION YOU ENTER INTO THEM!!!* *It's not Easy Bib's fault if your Works Cited info is wrong! 5 Tips for Citing Responsibly in Easy Bib: 1. Use the "All 58 Options" tab
2. For web sources, use the "source type" drop-down
3. Make sure you are entering the information for the
correct edition
4. Fill in ALL of the required information...seriously!
(More than one author? Enter them ALL!)
5. For web resources, don't forget to include the date you accessed the work (especially important since they
have a tendency to mysteriously disappear) Plagiarism...does it REALLY matter that much? Why evaluate sources? These days anyone can publish information, and it doesn't have to be correct, or even CLOSE to correct.

Whether you seek information for an academic, professional, or personal reason, you will want to filter out potentially obsolete, irrelevant, unreliable, or biased information, and select only the best sources.

The CRAAP Test can help you achieve that goal for both online and print sources. Adapted/Borrowed from Meriam Library, California State University, Chico, athttp://www.csuchico.edu/lins/handouts/eval_websites.pdf The CRAAP Test Adapted/Borrowed from Meriam Library, California State University, Chico, at http://www.csuchico.edu/lins/handouts/eval_websites.pdf Currency: Publication date or date posted or updated
Could the information be obsolete?
Are links functional?
What if there is no date information? Question reliability of the site
Question whether anyone is maintaining the site
Look for statements that indicate currency (According to a 2010 study...) Currency: timeliness of information
Relevance: ability of information to meet your needs
Authority: qualifications of the author
Accuracy: reliability and correctness
Purpose: intentions behind publication Relevance: pertains to your topic
answers your questions
appropriate level for your needs
makes sense to use as a source Authority: Accuracy: supported by evidence
supported by what you already know
peer reviewed
verifiable (citations, citations, citations!)
few grammar/spelling/typographical errors
covers multiple viewpoints (not biased)
free from emotion Purpose: is the information intended to teach, inform, sell, persuade?
are intentions clear (or is there a hidden agenda)?
fact, opinion, or propaganda?
objective and impartial?
look for bias (political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, personal) MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers - Reference section of library

A Pocket Style Manual (Diana Hacker - orange section) - on reserve at library

Purdue University Online Writing Lab - search for Purdue OWL on Google

Ask a Librarian :) Questions? this makes you look more credible! What's in a citation?
author name, title, publication information, medium
the required information
changes for each source type!!! Example (online book vs. print book): how do you know an author is reliable if you don't know who the author is? Alexa.com What counts?
no citation
incorrect citation
overuse of quotes and/or paraphrases To reuse or not to reuse? Yes, it really matters that much! What to cite? websites
works of art
poems, songs
ANYTHING you borrow! What not to cite? your opinion
common knowledge MLA Other Stuff: picking a topic
narrowing a topic
finding resources
pretty much anything you need help with Ask a librarian! Domain name doesn't guarantee credibility!
ANYONE can register a .org, .com, or .net domain name
.gov=government institution
.edu=educational institution
Still not a guarantee of credibility Good design doesn't necessarily = reliability!!!
Bad design doesn't necessarily = bad info.
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