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MUS 309: Traditional Music of the U.S.

Music Librarian

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Lindsay Hansen Brown

MLA Style (9th Edition)

Basic MLA formatting guidelines 

  • A Works Cited list should be organized alphabetically by author’s last name.
  • Works Cited list should be double spaced with a hanging indent.
  • In-Text citations should be placed directly after the quote or paraphrase. Information needed: (Author’s Last Name page number)
    • Parenthetical citation: “Direct quote” (Furlong 25).
    • Narrative citation, if the author is mentioned in the sentence, only provide the page #. Example: Furlong found that “direct quote” (25)
  • Publication date should be formatted day month year with the month abbreviated. It could also be: month year or season year. Examples:
    • 26 July 2016
    • Dec. 2015
    • spring 2016
  • Abbreviations: If the month is more than 4 letters, abbreviate as follows: Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.

MLA Style Center provide citation guideline for common titles of online works.

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Evaluating sources

What are Scholarly/Academic/Peer-reviewed Sources?

Scholarly/academic/peer-reviewed sources are sources written by experts and are reviewed by experts in the field before the article is published.

 

Why Do I Need to Evaluate Scholarly Sources?

You may consider scholars with subject expertise have authority in the area of your research topic and thus produce only good sources. However, like all types of sources and authorities, scholarly sources vary a lot by date, scope, method, and etc, making only some of them appropriate to cite in your research. Scholarly sources may have totally valid evidence but not so relevant to your research. 

 

How Do I Evaluate Scholarly Sources?

Finding a good scholarly source to use can sometimes be a messy process, but below are some questions you can ask yourself in order to determine if the academic article is worth using in your research.

  • Date: Some topics, such as those in the health sciences, require current information. Other subjects, such as geology, value older material as well as current. Know the time needs of your topic and examine the timeliness of the article; is it:
    • up-to-date,
    • out-of-date, or
    • timeless?
  • Usefulness: Is the article relevant to the current research project? A well-researched, well-written, etc. article is not going to be helpful if it does not address the topic at hand. Ask, "is this article useful to me?" If it is a useful article, does it:
    • support an argument
    • refute an argument
    • give examples (survey results, primary research findings, case studies, incidents)
    • provide "wrong" information that can be challenged or disagreed with productively
  • Impact: Scholars have combined standard research metrics, like scholarly output and citation counts, into formulas to measure and assess author and journal impact in new ways. There are usually different types of metrics for different purposes, but in general, you can pay attention to
    • the number of times an article was cited to evaluate the scholarly output of a scholar
    • the number of times articles published for a journal to evaluate the impact of a journal
    • metrics in databases as shown below

 

More information about factors to consider when evaluating scholarly articles

More information about understanding impact 

Library Lecture Slides

Chicago Manual of Style

The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition (official complete ebook)

Call number Z253 .U69 2003, ‚Äčavailable in print on the first floor of the library in the Learning Commons

Citing Archival Materials in Chicago 

Turabian Quick Guide from the University of Chicago Press

A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers, 8th edition by Kate Turabian et al.

Call number LB2369 .T8 2013, available in print on the first floor of the library in the Learning Commons

Databases (find articles, encyclopedia entries, and listen to music)

APA Style Guide, 7th Edition

View the APA Style website for additional style and grammar guidelines.

Basic APA Formatting Guidelines 

  • Reference list entries are alphabetized by author’s last name or equivalent.
  • Reference lists are doubled spaced with a hanging indent after the first line of each entry
  • References (in bold) should appear at the top center of the page.
  • When referring to books, chapters, articles, or webpage titles, capitalize only the first letter of the first word of a title and subtitle, the first word after a colon or a dash in the title, and proper nouns
  • Cite up to the first 20 authors. Separate the authors name with a comma, and place the & symbol prior to the last name. 
    • Example: Last, F. M., Last, F. M., & Last, F. M.
  • In-text citations are placed directly after the quote or paraphrase. Information needed: (Author's Last Name, Year, page number). 
    • Parenthetical citation: “Direct quote” (Furlong, 2015, p.25).
    • Narrative citation, if the author is mentioned in the sentence, place the year after the last name and the page number after the quote. Example: Furlong (2015) found that “direct quote” (p. 25)
  • More guidelines can be found in the PDF Style Guide, citing in APA 7th edition

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