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Your Librarian

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Amandajean Nolte
LIB 370

Citing Your Sources

Citation generators like Easy Bib and Citation Machine are unreliable. They are computer programs that only work correctly if the user enters the information flawlessly, and unfortunately, students who cannot yet right a citation on their own notoriously cannot do that.

Instead, I recommend checking your citations against OWL Purdue. While it does not make the citations or you, they give examples that you can correct your citation against. Once you have a draft created, I am more than willing to look it over with you.

CAUTION: In early 2019, Purdue OWL began a partnership with Chegg, which introduced a Citation Machine widget to their otherwise wonderful content. Do not be tempted by these citation generators. Scroll past them to the documentation below, while you will have to do the critical thinking to model after the examples, you are more likely to create a correct and complete citation this way.

screenshot of generator on the Purdue OWL pages

Research Paper

Each student will develop a research-driven narrative of a famous historical event of their own choosing.

For this assignment, you will research the topic using library resources and the internet. Your topic and the time period surrounding your person will determine which sources are the most useful to you. Just like for your Argumentative Essay, the library catalog and our multidisciplinary databases are a great starting point.

Primary Sources

If you want to dig deeper, Chris Neuhaus (our history librarian) has created a phenomenal resource guide to walk us through choosing where to search less recent topics. Knowing which geographic area and years you are most interested in is helpful before you jump into the sources.

Advanced Google Search

The open web can also be useful, but you will have the most luck if you utilize advanced search techniques. 

Google Advanced Search

Argumentative Essay


The United States should invest heavily in electric vehicle manufacturing, with a goal of making U.S. road transport carbon neutral by 2050.

For this assignment, you will research the topic using library resources and the internet. 

Locating Reliable Academic Sources

Reference/Background articles

screenshot of Carbon Footprint and Neutrality record in Gale eBooks

Gale eBooks contains reference materials from a variety of disciplines. Use the item record to determine if the article you have found is within scope and fulfills your information need.

Newspaper, Magazine, and Journal articles (digital)

While all search systems differ, there are some similarities you can typically rely on being present in some capacity. Using these filters, limiters, and functions effectively can lead you to create more focused and effective searches.

  • advanced search
  • date limiter
  • source type limiter
  • FIND IT! button
  • citation (not 100%, ALWAYS correct against your manual or Purdue OWL)
  • permalink

Books, Newspaper, Magazine, and Journal articles (physical AND digital)

OneSearch (the library catalog) searches all of our physical materials and MANY (but not all) of our digital materials. The limiters aren't as advanced as the individual database functions, but they do an okay job.

Government websites

You can use Google tricks to search only government domain websites. Add to your search and it will limit to that domain. In addition, you can search specific websites this way as well. For example, "electric vehicles" will search only the United States Environmental Protection Agency website for your terms.

You can also limit by date by opening the Tools link and choosing a time period.screenshot of Tools limiter on Google