WR 121: LeFave: Step Three: Summarize & Cite

Writing Annotations

What makes a good annotation? Here are some quick tips for writing effective annotations:

  • Take notes as you read on the most interesting and relevant information and then summarize the main points in a few sentences and in your own words. Why is this a relevant and useful source? 
  • Evaluate the source as an information-delivery container. What makes the author authoritative? How do you know the information and analysis is credible and accurate? What is the recognized bias of the source (since most sources will have some level of bias) and why is that perspective worth considering?
  • Let your voice shine! Make a few statements about why you think this particular evidence is worth including. What makes this source particularly interesting and what does it add to the conversation? 

Generate citations at the click of a button

The library catalog and some library databases have built-in citation generators, which allow you to simply click on a "Cite" button to get the citation for that article or book in various formats. You can usually find this useful feature, if it is available, on the page for the specific article or book. Always double-check the citations from citation generators, as these automated tools are known to occasionally produce errors (for example, formatting the author's name or title in all capital letters). 

In the EBSCO databases, the "Cite" tool is located in the "Tools" menu, to the right of a full article record:

Screenshot showing the location of the Cite button on the right-hand side in EBSCOHost

 

In our Library Catalog, the "citation" tool is located in the "Send to" area below the title, author, and location information in a full item record:

Screenshot showing the location of the citation button in the library catalog item record

Citation buttons are also available in ProQuest databases, SIRS, CQ ResearcherGoogle Scholar, and most Gale Databases. If you're not sure how to find the citation, ask a librarian.

Cite Your Sources in MLA

Why cite your sources?

When you use someone else's words, ideas, or images in your writing, you need to give them proper credit. Providing a citation or reference enables others to locate these sources, too! Here is a sample MLA works cited page.

Resources for creating MLA-style citations:

Free citation creation tools to help you generate MLA-style citations:

  • MyBib
    • Generate citations and bibliographies by pasting a URL or searching for a resource by title
    • Covers MLA 8 & 9
    • Copy and paste citations, download them as a Word doc, save them to Google Drive, print, or email them to yourself
  • NCSU Citation Builder 
    • Simple citation builder for some digital and print materials
    • Covers MLA 7 & 8
    • Copy and paste your generated citation into your bibliography
  • Calvin College's Knight Cite 
    • Build citations for a wide range of resources in print, digital, multimedia, and communication
    • Covers MLA 8
    • Create a free Knight Cite account to save citations and export them to Word or RTF document

Need help with hanging indentation?

Do you need to cite?

Flowchart describing the need to cite when using ideas or words from others