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Bucknell Community College Scholars Program: Citing Sources

Welcome to Bucknell's Bertrand Library! This is a a guide to library resources for students in the Bucknell Community College Scholars Program. Here you will find resources that will help you with your class research projects.

Citing Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism

Citing your sources and avoiding plagiarism are key components of academic work at any institution of higher learning.  Below you will find a link to the American Psychological Association (APA) style guide, which will give you examples of commonly cited source types.

You must also avoid plagiarism (using someone's work without attribution or permission), whether accidental or intentional.  Below you will find a Google slides presentation about how to avoid accidental plagiarism.

Librarians are available to help you figure out how to cite sources.  However, keep in mind that your professor is the ultimate arbiter of proper citation, as they will be grading your work.  If you have questions about how they would like you to cite things, ask them.  They want you to succeed!

Citation Managers and Generators

Below, you will find a list of tools that will help you to format your in-text citations, notes, and bibliography and some that even allow you to store, manage, and share your research resources.

Remember that software and online tools are fallible. The citations created using these programs are only as good as the information they contain. Be sure to check your citations carefully!

Annotated Bibliographies

An annotation is a brief summary of a book, article, or other publication. Its purpose is to describe the work in such a way that the reader can decide whether or not to read the work itself. A bibliography is a list of works and is a standard appendage to a scholarly book or article. An annotated bibliography, in which each item is summarized, is valuable because it helps the reader understand the particular uses of each item.

The following five points provide guidance for writing an annotation:

  1. The authority and the qualifications of the author, unless extremely well known, should be clearly stated. Preferably this is to be done early in the annotation: "John Z. Schmidt, a Russian history professor at Interstate University, based his research on recently discovered documents."
  2. The scope and main purpose of the text must be explained. This is usually done in three short sentences. For example, "He reveals that a few Germans played a key role in the events leading up to the revolution. They provided money, arms, and leadership which helped the revolution get started." Unlike an abstract, which is an abridgement or synopsis, the writer cannot hope to summarize the total content of the work.
  3. The relation of other works, if any, in the field is usually worth noting: "Schmidt's conclusions are radically different from those in Mark Johnson's Why the Red Revolution?"
  4. The major bias or standpoint of the author in relation to his/her theme should be clarified: "However, Schmidt's case is somewhat weakened by an anti-German bias, which was mentioned by two reviewers."
  5. The audience and the level of reading difficulty should be indicated: ..."Schmidt addresses himself to the scholar, but the concluding chapters will be clear to any informed layperson." Such a comment will serve to warn you (and other college student readers) away from writings which are too elementary or too scholarly.

Another way to think about the steps of writing an annotation is: Summarize – Assess – Reflect

You may also find this annotated bibliography worksheet useful as a guide when writing annotations.

Subject Librarian

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Carrie Pirmann
Bertrand Library
Research Help Area, Room 112
Office Hours:
Monday - Friday, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Get Started With Your Research!

Check out the Bertrand Library's DIY Research Guide.  It's a step-by-step, process-oriented resource that will help you get started with any research project!

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