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|APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard
|📚 Source types
|Websites, books, articles
|Search by title, URL, DOI, or ISBN
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Working with sources is an important skill that you’ll need throughout your academic career.
It includes knowing how to find relevant sources, assessing their authority and credibility, and understanding how to integrate sources into your work with proper referencing.
This quick guide will help you get started!
Sources commonly used in academic writing include academic journals, scholarly books, websites, newspapers, and encyclopedias. There are three main places to look for such sources:
When using academic databases or search engines, you can use Boolean operators to refine your results.
In academic writing, your sources should be credible, up to date, and relevant to your research topic. Useful approaches to evaluating sources include the CRAAP test and lateral reading.
CRAAP is an abbreviation that reminds you of a set of questions to ask yourself when evaluating information.
Lateral reading means comparing your source to other sources. This allows you to:
If a source is using methods or drawing conclusions that are incompatible with other research in its field, it may not be reliable.
Once you have found information that you want to include in your paper, signal phrases can help you to introduce it. Here are a few examples:
|Signal words and phrases
|Neutral: You present the author’s position neutrally, without any special emphasis.
|According to recent research, food services are responsible for one-third of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.
|According to, analyzes, asks, describes, discusses, explains, in the words of, notes, observes, points out, reports, writes
|Supportive: A position is taken in agreement with what came before.
|Recent research has confirmed Einstein’s theory of general relativity by observing light from behind a black hole.
|Agrees, confirms, endorses, reinforces, promotes, supports
|Argumentative: A position is taken for or against something, with the implication that the debate is ongoing.
|Allen Ginsberg denies the importance of artistic revision …
|Argues, contends, denies, insists, maintains
Following the signal phrase, you can choose to quote, paraphrase or summarize the source.
Whenever you quote, paraphrase, or summarize a source, you must include a citation crediting the original author.
Citing your sources is important because it:
The most common citation styles are APA, MLA, and Chicago style. Each citation style has specific rules for formatting citations.
Scribbr offers tons of tools and resources to make working with sources easier and faster. Take a look at our top picks: