In Research papers use parenthetical citations in the text of the paper to document sources for every borrowed piece of information. To document or cite the source of ideas used in your paper (a quotation, paraphrase, fact, statistic, graph, picture, etc.), simply enclose in parentheses the author's last name or shortened title of your source when no author is given and place it after the end of the borrowed material. It will look like this: (Bauman 313). The reader will turn to your list of sources (bibliography) to find out more about the source you are using. If you have used the author's name to introduce the quotation or paraphrase as in "Professor Bauman states . . . ," include only the page number in parentheses, like this: (313).
The format of the parenthetical citation will vary depending on the style of documentation you are using in your paper. The documentation style explained above "(Bauman 313)" is the MLA style, used in this introduction. Another one, the APA, will have a comma, a year, and a "p." before the page number in addition to the author's name and page number, like this: (Bauman, 1998, p. 313). The CBE and many others have their own ways of citing. Refer to examples in this Guide for the style of documentation that your professor specifies.
For electronic sources, use the established citation formats of the MLA, APA or other documentation styles. For source list entries, give the complete information about each source: the author's name, title, date and address of the website. Remember you are including both in-text citation and source entry at the end of the paper to credit your source and to provide interested readers the information they will need to find the source themselves. With electronic sources especially, it is better to give too much information than not enough.
List of Sources (Bibliography)
The last page of a research paper lists sources used for the paper. Traditionally, this has been called a "bibliography," and it still is by many people.
However, because the word "bibliography" literally means a description of books (from the Latin), and many of the sources available these days are electronic, non-book sources, style manuals recommend not using "bibliography" except when you are putting together a list of inclusive sources on a topic (i.e., all the sources you can find or all that you recommend on a topic).
For heading a last page list of sources used just for your paper, the modern terms include Works Cited or Works Referred To (preferred for humanities papers) or References or References List (preferred for social science and science papers).
You may also see and use other appropriate headings, like Works Consulted or References Consulted (all the sources you looked at to compile the paper), Annotated List of Works (when you provide a note about the content of each work in your list). For long and complex papers (senior or graduate level), the sources may be divided into categories: for example, Books, Magazine and Journal Articles, Internet, Surveys, Interviews. And, human creativity being what it is, probably you will see even more than these.
The following list of questions can be used to help evaluate the quality of printed and electronic resources. If the answers to the questions are not clear to you, then you probably should not rely on the source that you have in hand. In all research, using a balance of printed and electronic resources will help you as you evaluate the sources.
1. Source: Who published the material?
(a) Is the author/publisher identifiable?
(b) Are credentials or qualifications given for the author?
(c) Is it from a company trying to sell something or from a professional association or organization reporting on research?
2. Content: Is the material accurate and current?
(a) Have you found any other supporting information that indicates that the source is accurate?
(b) Is a date given for when the material was written?
(c) Can you verify the information presented?
3. Objectivity: Is the material free from bias?
(a) Can you determine whether the author is favoring a particular view?
(b) Is the information presented as fact or opinion?
(c) Is the material presented in a well-reasoned and organized fashion?
4. Scope: Is the coverage appropriate for the topic?
(a) Is the source updating other information?
(b) Is the level of the material appropriate or is it too technical to understand? (c) Is the topic covered in depth?