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Finding and citing reliable sources

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hello_html_m7d784560.gifhello_html_5d232abb.gifhello_html_m6d2ac83e.gifAutonomous Educational Organization “Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools”

Branch of “Nazarbayev Intellectual School of the Physics and Mathematics direction” of Aktobe

Finding and Citing Reliable Sources

Student Handbook



M. B. Kabulova

A Guide for Finding and Citing Reliable Sources. Manual for students of 11th and 12th grades of Nazarbayev Intellectual School, Aktobe, 2015 – 27 p.

This manual is intended for the 11th and 12th grade students of Nazarbayev Intellectual School as a guide for finding and citing reliable sources of information while doing research. This manual details types of sources, techniques for gathering information, the use of sources for research projects, and the methods of assessing the credibility of sources. This guide will help students to find, evaluate and cite sources properly. Moreover, this manual includes the tasks for practicing the different skills outlined in this handbook.

Table of Contents

I. Why is this important?

II. What is plagiarism?

III. Paraphrasing

IV. What are sources?

  1. Primary

  2. Secondary

  3. Tertiary

V. Finding print sources

a. Using the library

b. Evaluating print sources

VI. Finding credible sources on the Web

a. Domain Names

b. Databases

VII. Assessing a source’s credibility

  1. 5 WH questions + How



d. Evaluating online sources

VIII. Citing sources

a. Style Guides

b. In text citations

c. Works Cited

d. Useful Websites

IX. Benefits of Citing Sources

X. Check for Originality

XI. Glossary

XII. Answer Key

XIII. Works Cited

  1. Why is this important?

The way that information is accessed has changed dramatically in the last few decades. This change has brought with it a shift in perception of intellectual property rights and how others’ ideas can be used honestly. No longer do students begin their research by visiting the library, talking with the librarian and browsing the shelves. Now the first step is to use a search engine, often gathering ideas from Wikipedia, before launching into the real research. The Internet has a much more informal feel than do books in a venerable library. Furthermore, information on the Internet is not uniformly presented as books are. Books have a title page including the author’s name, publisher, and copyright. It can be more challenging to find this information for an Internet source, and this can deter students from putting in the extra work to cite their sources accurately.

All of these factors have led to rampant plagiarism. In a New York Times UpFront article, Gabriel reports:

Digital technology makes cheating easier—whether it's texting exam answers to friends, sharing homework online, or downloading ready-made term papers from the Internet. But it may also be redefining how students, who are used to music file-sharing and Wikipedia, understand the concepts of authorship and plagiarism.

Many people now carry the Internet in their pockets – on smartphones or tablets – and use it for connecting with friends through social media. They feel the Internet, and all it contains, belongs to them, and is a part of their social life. It can be challenging to draw a distinction between the many aspects of the Internet and to come to grips with its scholarly side and all of its implications. Many students who use others’ ideas without attribution do not consider themselves to be plagiarizing. Gabriel reports that, “47 percent of high school students admitted to copying and pasting from the Web, with nearly one third saying they didn't consider it cheating.”

Of course, many students do understand themselves to be cheating and do so anyway. Gabriel reports that, “of the 196 plagiarism cases referred to [the discipline office at the University of California] last year, most involved students who intentionally copied—knowing it was wrong.” The good news is that educating students on plagiarism and how to cite sources greatly decreases the incidence of plagiarism. Gabriel reports that, “some colleges are requiring students to complete online tutorials about plagiarism, which at one school cut down plagiarism rates by two thirds.”

  1. What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is using another’s ideas without attribution. Plagiarism.org expresses it like this:

Many people think of plagiarism as copying another's work or borrowing someone else's original ideas. But terms like "copying" and "borrowing" can disguise the seriousness of the offense:

According to the Merrriam-Webster online dictionary, to “plagiarize” means:

  • to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own

  • to use (another's production) without crediting the source

  • to commit literary theft

  • to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source

In other words, plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else's work and lying about it afterward.

Plagiarism has a long reach. It includes copying not only the written word, but also images, charts, graphs, tables, and so much more!

The following graphic from Plagiarism.org can help you visualize and understand different kinds of plagiarism.

infographic_spectrum_ctrlc.jpg #1. CLONE: Submitting another’s work, word-for-word, as one’s own

infographic_spectrum_ctrlc.jpg #2. CTRL-C: Contains significant portions of text from a single source without


infographic_spectrum_find_replace.jpg #3. FIND – REPLACE: Changing key words and phrases but retaining the

essential content of the source

infographic_spectrum_remix.jpg #4. REMIX: Paraphrases from multiple sources, made to fit together

infographic_spectrum_recycle.jpg #5. RECYCLE: Borrows generously from the writer’s previous work without


infographic_spectrum_hybrid.jpg #6. HYBRID: Combines perfectly cited sources with copied

passages without citation

infographic_spectrum_mashup.jpg #7. MASHUP: Mixes copied material from multiple sources

infographic_spectrum_404.jpg #8. 404 ERROR: Includes citations to non-existent or

inaccurate information about sources

infographic_spectrum_aggregrator.jpg #9. AGGREGATOR: Includes proper citation to sources but the paper contains

almost no original work

infographic_spectrum_retweet.jpg #10. RE-TWEET: Includes proper citation, but relies too closely on the text’s

original wording and/or structure

How can plagiarism be avoided? Consider your own ideas and write a plan or outline for your work. This will ensure that the structure of your research belongs to you, and you are using the sources to support your ideas. Take good notes that include the sources for the information gathered and cite your sources! Writing notes helps one to paraphrase more effectively. Later when you use your notes to write your paper, you will refine them even further. It is important to then cite the source – even when paraphrasing - and this is made easier when all the sources are gathered as you work. It is easy to plagiarize, even inadvertently, but this can be avoided by paraphrasing well and citing one’s sources. By maintaining academic honesty, one can avoid the consequences of plagiarism which can include bad grades, expulsion, revocation of degrees and diplomas, disgrace, and even jail time and fines.

Task 1: Check Your Knowledge!

the use of one’s own thoughts and materials in the writing of papers, taking of tests, and other classroom related activities

Match the words with their definitions.

intellectual property

academic honesty

the identity of the person who wrote something, especially a book


the act of forcing somebody or something out


property (as an idea, invention, or process) that derives from the work of the mind or intellect; also: an application, right, or registration relating to this



to speak or write the exact words from a book, an author, etc


the act of using another person's words or ideas without giving credit to that person: the act of plagiarizing something


to officially cancel the power or effect of (something, such as a law, license, agreement, etc.): to make (something) not valid

  1. Paraphrasing

According to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, “paraphrase” is defined as “a statement that says something that another person has said or written in a different way.” The ability to paraphrase is a skill that you can develop. This skill is crucial to your ability to write a research paper that conforms to the highest standards of academic honesty.

There are many benefits to paraphrasing. Paraphrasing helps you to keep the flow of your text by eliminating unnecessary words that would be part of a quote. Paraphrasing helps you to not overuse quotation. A paper that has too many quotations would be considered plagiarism if there is no room for your own ideas! Paraphrasing also helps you to understand the text more. As you paraphrase you are deepening your comprehension of the text.

Note taking is a critical part of paraphrasing well. Note taking will help you to paraphrase effectively. This can be done by hand with paper and pencil, or directly into a Word document. The key is to put distance between you and the original, and help you to process what you have read into your own words. Later when you return to your notes to incorporate them into your writing, you will adapt them further, making the words even more your own, and the flow of the paper more cohesive. Remember, though, that you will still cite the original source. Keep in mind that paraphrasing is more detailed than summarizing. Summarizing is more general. It may be best to quote if quoting a distinguished person whose words are eloquent. When simply conveying facts, however, paraphrasing is best.

Taking the time to go through the whole process involved in paraphrasing will greatly improve your skill in paraphrasing well. Paraphrasing is done correctly when you use not only your own words, but also your own structure. It is not acceptable to take a quote and change some words for synonyms. A paraphrase must have your own structure as well as your own words. This is why reading the text, saying it back in your own words, and then writing it down in your notes in your own words before rephrasing it again in your paper is so important. Once you feel that you have paraphrased well, check yourself. Look back at the original. Check that you have kept the original meaning, and that the structure and words used in your paraphrase are different from the original.

Follow these steps to paraphrase correctly. As you do this more and more, you will get better and better and it!

Step 1: Read and reread the original.

Step 2: Restate (mentally, aloud, or to someone else) what you have read using your own words and structure without looking at the original.

Step 3: Write down your paraphrase without looking at the original.

Step 4: Check yourself. Reread the original to be sure that you have preserved the original meaning, and to assess whether you have used enough of your own words and structure in the paraphrase.

Step 5: Correct any errors your may have found.

Step 6: Cite the source. Write down all the bibliographic information.

It’s a great idea to practice! Purdue University has some wonderful resources to help you to practice paraphrasing!

  1. What are sources?

A source of information can be a book, a newspaper, a web page, a video or even a conversation between people. It is possible to use all available sources or only one depending on your purpose.

There are three well known types of sources. They are primary, secondary and tertiary

  1. Primary source

A primary source tells you about an even by giving an inside view of it. A primary source is from the time of the event, it was present during the time period of a particular experience. It is usually created at the time of the event or later by witnesses who experienced those events. It can be characterized as hard evidence because it’s an original material. Some types of primary sources include:

Original Documents: Manuscripts, letters, diaries, interviews, autobiographies, videos, audio records, newspaper articles written at the time, official documents, and speeches

Creative Works: Music, poetry, films, drama, novels, art, and others

Artifacts: Furniture, clothing, accessories, buildings, and others

  1. Secondary source

A secondary source tells about an event by describing or interpreting it. A secondary source was not present at the time of the event. It is usually created after the event on the basis of the primary source. Secondary sources analyze the primary sources. Some types of secondary sources include:

Publications: Textbooks, encyclopedias, newspaper or magazine articles, histories, criticisms, commentaries

  1. Tertiary source

A tertiary source tells you about an event by representing information from primary and secondary sources. It usually provides overviews or summaries of topics and general information gathered from other resources. Sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish between secondary and tertiary sources. Here are some examples: encyclopedias, chronologies, almanacs, textbooks, databases.

Task 2: Know your sources!

Look through the following sources in different subjects and identify which of them are primary, secondary, or tertiary.

  1. Art and Architecture.

  • Article critiquing art piece

  • Painting by Manet

  • ArtStor database

  1. Chemistry/Life Sciences

  • Einstein's diary

  • Dictionary on Theory of Relativity

  • Monograph on Einstein's life

  1. Humanities

  • Encyclopedia on Civil Rights Movement

  • Web site on King's writings

  • Letters by Martin Luther King

  1. Social Sciences

  • Magazine article about the psychological condition

  • Textbook on clinical psychology

  • Notes taken by clinical psychologist

  1. Performing Arts

  • Movie filmed in 1942

  • Guide to the movie

  • Biography of the director

Task 3: Knowledge Check!

  1. What word is defined as: able to be believed?

  2. What are some synonyms of this word?

  1. Finding print sources

During the information gathering stage, students determine appropriate sources of the chosen topic. It is important to plan and use a strategy for finding information related to the research question. Sources of information can be different: print sources, electronic sources, video and audio sources.

Nowadays the fastest and the easiest way to find information is to use the Internet and online services. Most students believe it’s easier and faster to surf the Internet for sources just because they know what steps they should take to succeed. This leads to unreasonable underestimation of the significance of the print information sources. Print sources of information include books, journals, newspapers, encyclopedias, dictionaries, documents. The most effective way to find credible print sources is to use a library.

а. Using the library

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary library is “a place where books, magazines, and other materials are available for people to use or borrow”. It’s a mine of information that is accessible for everyone. In order to use the library correctly you should follow certain steps.

The following steps provide an effective strategy for conducting efficient and accurate library research.

  1. Get to know your library.

Find out early in your research project what resources your library has, by visiting and taking a tour, if possible. Many people who use libraries don't make full use of the reference collection except for the encyclopedias. There are some wonderful reference collections for research in most of the libraries.

  1. Learn to browse - understand the classification scheme in your library.

A library's classification scheme is a system by which books are organized to be placed on the shelves. Browsing the shelves is an important step when you're trying to get ideas for your research project, so it is worth the effort to become familiar with your library's system.

Remember that a book can have only one location in a library. Some books cover more than one subject and the librarian has to choose one place to locate the book. Also, non-book materials such as videos and films will be located in a different section of the building. So, do not miss them by simply shelf-browsing the book collection.

  1. Learn how online library catalogs work

A library catalog is a listing of all the items kept in a particular library. A librarian examines the item (book, video, map, audio tape, CD, etc.) and decides how it will be described in the library's catalog and under what subject it will be classified. When the item is entered into the library's online catalog database, then it’s easy to find it. Most catalogs are searchable by author, title, subject and keyword.

Remember that library catalogs do not have the full text of books and documents but are just a database with descriptions of the library's holdings. There are a few actual online libraries where you can go to read or search full text documents. Just do not confuse these special resources with a library catalog, which is very different!

  1. Find out how to search for journals and newspapers at your library

Most libraries have either print, CD-ROM, or online indexes of magazine, journal and newspaper articles (referred to as periodicals) available for users. Some of these are abstracts of the articles, which are short summaries written to describe the article's contents in enough detail so that a reader can decide whether or not to seek out the full text. Some of these sources may be in the form of full text, where the entire articles have been entered into the database.

  1. Bibliography surfing

Use the bibliography provided at the end of an encyclopedia article, journal article or book that you have found particularly pertinent to your topic and follow the bibliographic references much as you would hyperlinks on the Web. Since you are locating items which influenced the author of the original article and to which he or she referred, they are likely to be "on point" for your topic. Then use the bibliography at the end of those cited articles to find even more items, and so on.

  1. Consult the librarian for advice

Librarians can help you save a lot of time because they know their library's collection very well—both the reference collection and the nonfiction collection. So, they can often tell you whether or not the library has a particular item you are looking for. They are also skilled researchers, both of the library's catalog and of online resources such as CD-ROM, online databases and the Internet. In addition, they are trained in teaching others to use these resources and are glad to do so.

b. Evaluating print sources

Traditionally finding necessary material is a critical part of your research and evaluating it can be even more important. In fact, it is one of the most important stages of the research project. There are some different methods for evaluating the sources.

To begin, consider these important points:

  • Any research suggests a critical selection of the most important sources of information.

  • The number of collected materials does not always reflect the quality of the completed research.

Date of publication

  • It is recommended to use the latest publications, as their authors had the best access to knowledge. This requirement varies according to the topic of investigation.

Bibliographical references

  • The book, containing a bibliography, indicates a more serious level of the book and the quality of research.

  • Sometimes the list of references (bibliography) can be more useful than the text of the book.

Review (on a book or research paper)

  • Check out the critical reviews.

  • Read a few reviews of the same book (if available).

Short abstract of the article

  • Check out the summary. It will help to determine whether this article is valuable for your research.

Scientific journals

  • Scientific journals publish peer-reviewed articles. The publication of the articles depends on the expert opinion of specialists.

  1. Finding credible sources on the web

With the appearance of the Internet any author can quite easily publish information online. Anyone can access this information without leaving home. The availability of online information is one of the most important achievements of Internet technologies. In the system of the print sources of information the author is faced with the examination of his work for scientific value, credibility, relevance and popularity of the topic. In other words, information published in the print sources is carefully reviewed. However, the Internet may have information which is slurred, false, repetitive, uninteresting and without any scientific value. This is the price we pay for easy access to the Internet and the removal of information barriers. That is why finding credible sources on the Web is a challenge but possible if you follow some simple rules.

  1. Domain names

The domain suffix provides you with understanding about the purpose or audience of a Web site. The domain suffix might also give you information about the geographic origin of a Web site.

Here follows a list of the most common domain suffixes and the types of organizations that would use them.

.com - Commercial site. The information provided by commercial interests is basically presenting the product it promotes in the best way. While this information might not necessarily be false, you might be getting only part of the picture. Remember, there's a monetary stimulus behind every commercial site in providing you with information, whether it is for good public relations or to sell you a product outright.

.edu - Educational institution. Sites using this domain name are institutions ranging from school to higher education. If you take a look at your school's URL you'll notice that it ends with the domain .edu (akb.nis.edu.kz) Information from sites within this domain are examined very carefully. So, the information provided can generally be taken as credible.

.gov - Government. If you come across a site with this domain, then you are viewing a federal government site. The information is considered to be from a credible source.

.org - Traditionally a non-profit organization. Organizations such as the American Red Cross or PBS (Public Broadcasting System) use this domain suffix. Generally, the information in these types of sites is credible and unbiased.

.net - Network. You might find any kind of site under this domain suffix. It appears as universal for sites that do not fit into any of the preceding domain suffixes. Information from these sites should be given careful analysis.

Country Domain Suffixes








United Kingdom




United States

b. Databases

Advanced Search, with its elegantly laid-out tool set for crafting very precise search strategies, gives the user great control over the whole search process.” – EBSCO Library Journal

A database is a collection of organized data that can be used to quickly retrieve information. Most databases are electronic periodical indexes of citations, abstracts, or full-text periodical articles from thousands of magazines, journals, newspapers, historical documents, or other literary works.

For the modern Internet user it is very easy to use databases. In order to find necessary information enter your search terms in the text boxes and click the “Search” button.

Many of the articles you find in library databases are available in full text and can be viewed online either in Adobe Acrobat PDF format or in HTML format. In cases where the full text is not immediately available you may see links to where it can be found in other databases. Moreover article citations include important information about that specific article: author, article title, publication title, volume, date and pages. You will need this information when you cite the article in your research. Most databases provide options such as emailing, printing or saving articles or citations.

It is important to understand that the information found in databases is not the same as the information found on the Web. A great deal of time, effort, and money is spent to purchase, collect, and organize the scholarly data found in different databases. As it was mentioned, databases mostly contain scholarly or peer-reviewed articles which means they have been checked by professionals before publishing. Refereed/peer-reviewed research is a reliable source of accurate information that can be used to create new scholarship.

Since the information found in databases is valuable, many of them are paid. However, there are some good databases that can be used for free.


U.S. Department of Education database of education-related literature, including journal articles, conferences, government documents, reports, books, and bibliographies.

- Google Scholar

Search the Web for peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts, and technical reports from broad areas of research.


Originally it’s a paid database but it can be used for free by NIS students. It has got a collection of academic papers in different subjects.

- Scirus

Search the Web for journal content, scientists' homepages, courseware, pre-print server material, patents, and institutional repository and website information.

- BASE: Bielefeld Academic Search Engine

Multidisciplinary database that contains peer-reviewed articles, books, reports, and biographies.

- CiteSeerX

Pennsylvania State University database. Computer science, Statistics, Mathematics. It is becoming multidisciplinary.

- Microsoft Academic Search

Provides many innovative ways to explore scientific papers, conferences, journals, and authors.

- SSRN: Social Science Research Network

Contains an abstracts database and an electronic paper collection, arranged by discipline.

- WorldWideScience

WorldWideScience is a global science gateway composed of national and international scientific databases and portals. WorldWideScience accelerates scientific discovery and progress by providing one-stop searching of databases from around the world. Multilingual WorldWideScience provides real-time searching and translation of globally dispersed multilingual scientific literature.

  1. Assessing a source’s credibility

We have discussed many different types of information sources and they ways to access them. It has also been said a lot about the necessity and importance of evaluation of any types of information resources for credibility, no matter where and how you found them. A quality of the research you are conducting depends on the materials you rely on.

There is a variety of methods used to assess a source’s reliability.

  1. 5 WH questions + How


Who is the author?

What are her/his credentials?


What information is available from this resource?


When was the resource produced?

For books, check the copyright date.

For articles, check the publication date.

For websites, look for a "created on" or "last updated on" date.


Where did the author(s) get the information?

Are citations provided?


Why does this resource exist?

Is the purpose to entertain, persuade, inform, etc.?

Is the resource biased?


How comprehensive is the resource?

Does it go into the depth you need?

One way is to ask the five WH questions: Who, What, When, Where, Why and How.

  1. RAVEN

These are the most widely used criteria to evaluate the credibility of sources.

RReputation. While checking the credibility of the source according to this criterion, you should ask yourself a question: “Does the source’s history or status suggest reliability or unreliability?” If we know someone has lied in the past, we should be less trusting of him/her in the future – and if the person has a history of honesty, this should build his or her credibility. Sometimes we have a good idea whether or not a witness is going to be reliable simply based on his/her reputation.

AAbility to see. The second criterion, ability to see, concerns whether the sourceis in a position to know what he or she talking about. No matter how honest a source of information is, if he or she does not have access to the evidence then the value of the knowledge is going to be limited. To assess a source using this criterion, consider whether the person was present to see the evidence that has been discussed, and if the conditions to observe were not obstructed.

VVested interest (личная заинтересованность). The vested interest criterion checks whether the source has any personal interest in the information being presented. A source that has vested interest might gain something by lying or lose something by telling the truth. If somebody has a vested interest, then the credibility of the evidence is weakened, and therefore cannot be trusted.

E - Expertise. Ask yourself a question: “Does the observer have the necessary background knowledge and understanding to correctly interpret the evidence?” Sources that have specialized knowledge in the sphere that is considered can be trusted.

NNeutrality. A neutral source of information in advance does not follow any point of view, and does not support any of the parties. The opposite of neutrality is bias. If a person is biased, his or her mind is already made up about a situation.







Ability to See



Vested Interest









Task 4: Vested Interest Check

I don’t want to have a criminal record, so I’ll say it wasn’t me.

Match the situation with the vested interest.

I’m refereeing an important rugby match.

I’ve been offered £500 to make sure Saracens win the match.

I’m being bullied at school.

I am afraid to tell anyone so I’m going to keep my mouth shut.

I’ve been accused of shoplifting.

Task 5: Who Is The Expert?

Does the witness have expertise?

A traffic accident has occurred and the following witnesses come forward to give their account. Whose evidence would you trust?

  1. Learner Driver

  2. Motor mechanic

  3. Primary school child

  4. Traffic policeofficer

  1. CRAAP

This criteria is also very effective for validating a source. The following information is provided by Merriam Library, California State University, Chico.

СCurrency: The timeliness of the information

  • When was the information published or posted?

  • Has the information been revised or updated?

  • Does your topic require current information, or will older sources work as well?

  • Are the links functional?

R Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs

  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?

  • Who is the intended audience?

  • Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?

  • Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use?

  • Would you be comfortable citing this source in your research paper?

A – Authority: The source of the information

  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?

  • Is the author qualified to write on the topic?

  • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or email address?

  • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source?

examples: .com .edu .gov .org .net

A – Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content

  • Where does the information come from?

  • Is the information supported by evidence?

  • Has the information been reviewed or refereed?

  • Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free of emotion?

  • Are there spelling, grammar or typographical errors?

P - Purpose: The reason the information exists

  • What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform, teach, sell, entertain or persuade?

  • Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?

  • Is the information fact, opinion or propaganda?

  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?

  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional or personal biases?

Use the list above to help you evaluate sources. Answer each of the questions as appropriate, and then rank each of the 5 parts from 1 to 10 (1 = unreliable, 10 = excellent).

45 - 50 Excellent

40 - 44 Good

35 - 39 Average

30 - 34 Borderline Acceptable

Below 30 – Unacceptable

  1. Evaluating online sources

The following criteria is used in evaluating Web resources. Some points of this criteria overlaps with the CRAAP criteria.

Criteria 1: Accuracy

To determine how reliable the information contained on the site is, you need to look at the host site. Is it a university, a government, professional associations, a commercial organization, an advocacy group, or a publisher? Ask yourself what their goals are. It's always a good idea to check with other Internet resources, magazines and journals that publish reviews to see if the site has been approved, and if so, by whom. Always remember to check the information on the site with the information found in other print and / or Web sources.

Criteria 2: Authority

To determine the authorship of the site, check the information about the author and see if someone has contributed to the site. Check out the information on the web pages to see if it includes references. A good website should provide the opportunity to contact with the creators of the site. Determine the purpose of the web page, educational, professional, personal, promotion, advertising, etc. It is a good idea to consider where the authors got their information. Check to see if the author or co-authors were published in the press. Check to see if the author(s) have created other websites. See if other Web sites provide additional information about the author(s).

Criteria 3: Objectivity

To determine the objectivity of a website, check if advertising and informational contents are being supplied to the same author or organization. If so, check whether there is a bias in the informational content. Keep in mind that many websites with excellent information are sponsored by commercial entities or run advertisements to finance the website.

Criteria 4: Currency

To determine the currency of a website, find out when the page was created and last updated. You should also check to see how often new links appear on the site and if they are functional or not.

Criteria 5: Coverage

To determine if the information is adequately covered on a website, compare the information with information found on other websites. Does one site provide more information, more references, and more contacts? Also compare the information on the website with information available in print sources such as books, journals, reports, etc. (if available).

  1. Citing sources.

Citing a source basically entails writing the author’s last name and page (where applicable) in the text where you use his or her ideas, and including bibliographical information in the bibliography. Each discipline, e.g. Medicine, Language, Psychology, has its own style. This chart shows some of the styles.

  1. Style guides




Modern Language Association


Language, Humanities

American Psychology Association


Education, Social Science, Engineering, Business



History, Economics, Social Sciences

American Anthropological Association


Anthropology, Ethnography

Council of Science Editors


Biological Sciences

American Medical Association


Biomedical Sciences, Medicine, Nursing

American Chemical Society



American Institute of Physics





Legal Writing

Modern Humanities Research Association



Each formatting and style guide has specific requirements for formatting the research paper, making in-text citations, and the bibliography. At Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools, the MLA and APA Styles are commonly used. There are a number of websites that can support you in using the MLA and APA Styles correctly. You may find Purdue University’s website to be comprehensive and easy to use.

  1. In text citations

Citing a source in the text must be done in a very specific way. It varies based on what kind of source you are citing. A newspaper is cited differently, than a book for example. It is recommended that you consult the style guide directly to get the most up to date information that is specific to your source. Here is a general overview for citing sources.

Basically, there are two ways to cite a source in text. The first way is to include the author’s last name in the sentence and to put the page number in parenthesis at the end of the sentence. The second way is to include both the author’s last name and the page number in parenthesis at the end of the sentence. For example:

According to Lee, “People are happiest when their friends are happy.” (90).

People are happiest when their friends are happy” (Lee, 90).

In the first example, the author’s last name is a part of the sentence and is not included in parenthesis with the page number. In the second example, the author’s last name is not part of the sentence and is included in parenthesis with the page number. If quoting from a source that does not use page numbers, no page number is required.

  1. Works cited

After citing the source briefly in the text, you must include the expanded version in the bibliography. In the MLA Style the bibliography is called Works Cited. The way the source is listed depends on what the source is. There is a specific way to list a book, an article from a print source, and a website, for example. It is best to access a style guide directly to get detailed instruction for your specific source. Again, Purdue University’s website is recommended.

  1. Useful websites

There are other websites that can greatly assist in this process. One can input the information that one has, such as the author, publisher, copyright date, etc. and the website will generate the entry for the Works Cited list in the proper format. One such site is EasyBib. Even when using such supportive websites, be sure to refer to a style guide to verify accuracy.

  1. Benefits of Citing Sources

There are many significant benefits to citing sources. Referring to other texts lends your own work greater credibility. Demonstrating how your ideas intersect with those of leading scholars helps your readers to believe and accept your ideas. Additionally, when you cite your sources your readers can read more about the topic by looking up the sources you cite. Finally, citing your sources allows you to give credit where credit is due. When you cite your sources you are maintaining your academic honesty and scholarly integrity.

  1. Check for originality

After completing the research work it is very important to check its originality. Checking the originality enables you to make sure that you have created an original piece of work. “It also helps to identify potential cases of plagiarism by automatically comparing submissions to an online database of original content. You can then view Originality Reports which highlight key areas, show a breakdown of matching sources, and provide direct links to the matching content” (Montana State University Library).

There are some programs which you can use to check your work for originality in order to avoid plagiarism. Most of the programs are paid, but there are some that you can you for free.

  • Viper

  • Turnitin

  • PaperRater

  • Plagiarism Checker

  • PlagTracker

  • Free Plagiarism Checker

Your paper is considered to be not plagiarized if its originality is 80-90%.

Good luck with your research!

  1. Glossary

Academic Honesty – the use of one’s own thoughts and materials in the writing of papers, taking of tests, and other classroom related activities (Howard Community College)

Authorship - the identity of the person who wrote something, especially a book (Oxford Learner’s Dictionary)

Citation - a line or short section taken from a piece of writing or a speech (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

Cite - to speak or write the exact words from a book, an author, etc (Oxford Learner’s Dictionary)

Credible - offering reasonable grounds for being believed; reasonable to trust or believe (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

Database - an organized set of data that is stored in a computer and can be looked at and used in various ways (Oxford Learner’s Dictionary)

Expulsion - the act of forcing somebody or something out (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

Integrity - the quality of being honest and fair (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

Intellectual property - property (as an idea, invention, or process) that derives from the work of the mind or intellect; also: an application, right, or registration relating to this (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

Originality - the quality of being new and interesting in a way that is different from anything that has existed before. (Oxford Learner’s Dictionary)

Paraphrase – to express something again using different words so that it is easier to understand (Oxford Student’s Dictionary)

Peer-reviewed - a process by which a scholarly work (such as a paper or a research proposal) is checked by a group of experts in the same field to make sure it meets the necessary standards before it is published or accepted (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

Plagiarism - the act of using another person's words or ideas without giving credit to that person: the act of plagiarizing something (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

Revoke - to officially cancel the power or effect of (something, such as a law, license, agreement, etc.): to make (something) not valid (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

Reliable - able to be trusted to do or provide what is needed; likely to be true or correct (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

Source - place, person or thing that you get something from (Oxford Learner’s Dictionary)

Valid - well-grounded or justifiable: being at once relevant and meaningful (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

  1. Answer key

Task 1

Check the glossary for the correct answers.

Task 2





Art and Architecture

Painting by Manet

Article critiquing art piece

ArtStor database

Chemistry/Life Sciences

Einstein's diary

Monograph on Einstein's life

Dictionary on Theory of Relativity


Letters by Martin Luther King

Web site on King's writings

Encyclopedia on Civil Rights Movement

Social Sciences

Notes taken by clinical psychologist

Magazine article about the psychological condition

Textbook on clinical psychology

Performing Arts

Movie filmed in 1942

Biography of the director

Guide to the movie

Task 3

  1. Credible

  2. Reliable, trustworthy

Task 4


I’m refereeing an important rugby match



Task 5

The expert in this situation would be a traffic police officer. She is qualified enough and her professional knowledge and experience can help to understand the situation properly.

Works Cited

  1. "The #1 MLA Format Guideline Website!" MLAFormatorg RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2015.

  1. Evaluating Internet Information.” Online Library Learning Center, University System of Georgia. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Jan 2015.

< http://www.usg.edu/galileo/skills/unit07/internet07_08.phtml>.

  1. "Evaluating Print Sources." The Writing Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Jan. 2015.

  1. Gabriel, Trip. "Generation Plagiarism?" Teacher Scholastic. The New York Times Upfront, 25 Oct. 2010. Web. 24 Jan. 2015.

  1. Harvey, Chris. “The Web as a Reporting and Research Tool.” MarylandNewsline. University of Maryland, 31 Sep. 2012. Web. 22 Jan. 2015.

  1. Kapoun, Jim. "Teaching undergrads WEB evaluation: A guide for library instruction." Cornell University Library, 29 Apr. 2014. Web. 22 Jan. 2015.

  1. "MLA Formatting and Style Guide." The OWL at Purdue. The Writing Lab, n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2015.

  1. 8.Негров, А.И. “Оценка источников информации.” Высшая школа лидерства, 6 Apr. 2010. Web. 22 Jan 2015.

  1. "Primary vs Secondary Sources." Princeton University. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Jan. 2015. .

  1. Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Sources.” University of Maryland Libraries, 2 May 2014. Web. 21 Jan. 2015.

  1. Primary, secondary, and tertiary sources.” Virginia Tech Libraries. . N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2015.

  1. Schwartz, Kathryn L. “Learning to research in the library.” ipl2. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Jan 2015.


  1. Telfer, Rick. "Or Perhaps..." : What Makes a Source "credible"? N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Jan. 2015.

  1. "What Is Plagiarism?" Plagiarism.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2015. .

  1. Wihbey, John. “Database checklist: Key academic research resources — both free and restricted.” Journalist’s resource, 14 Jun. 2012. Web. 22 Jan. 2015.

  1. Зубец, Виктор Васильевич. "Оценка достоверности сетевой информации" Вестник Тамбовского университета. Серия: Естественные и технические науки 16, 2011.


Краткое описание документа:

This manual is intended for the 11th and 12th grade students of Nazarbayev Intellectual School as a guide for finding and citing reliable sources of information while doing research projects.  This manual details types of sources, techniques for gathering information, the use of sources for research projects, and the methods of assessing the credibility of sources. This guide will help students to find, evaluate and cite sources properly, so their projects are relevant.  Moreover, this manual includes the tasks for practicing the different skills outlined in this handbook. The hadnbook can be used in different subjects preferably taught in English language.

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