Topic: Drunk Driving
Assemble a list of your research sources into an APA-style References page in Microsoft Word, save it and upload it here by clicking on “Browse my Computer.” It is perfectly OK to change sources before your final essay is due. To successfully complete this assignment, go over the folder titled Research and References. Also in your Rules for Writers read the section titled:”APA List of References” (pages 553-580 in the 8th edition). Keep it open to find details on how to list the particular sources you will be using. Of particular importance is the sample References page on page 595, 8th edition.
Extra Info: Because data is used in selective ways, it generally represents a point of view. When evaluating information found on the Internet, it is important to examine who is providing the information you are viewing. Sometimes you can go to a link titled “About Us,” which often tells the reader that there might be a point of view or bias. Ask yourself:
Definition: A source is anything, such as a newspaper or journal article, documentary, book, interview, website, etc. where a researcher can obtain information that provides ideas, examples, or evidence. Your paper is only as good as its weakest source, so choose carefully.
News media are acceptable only if the story is so recent that there are no scholarly publications on the subject. In other words: Use the news media sparingly.
Serious popular magazines occasionally have articles by authorities, interviews, or summaries of current topics of interest. Acceptability depends on how reputable the authors are and how thoroughly the publication checks its facts.
Government publications are acceptable if they are research or technical publications, but generally not if they are popular brochures or pamphlets. Note the .gov ending for online work.
General tips for finding valid sources:
What’s wrong with encyclopedias and textbooks? Many instructors forbid reference to Wikipedia, but have no problem with other encyclopedias. An encyclopedia is great for getting a general understanding of a subject, so you can generally trust the information provided, but it is not cited in serious research work. Avoid using encyclopedias, study sites, textbook, or personal websites in this or in your future university courses, even if permitted. They are not original sources. Students use them because they are useful to provide an overview or introduction to a topic, but don’t make the mistake of thinking your research paper is professional unless they avoid encyclopedias, study sites, and textbooks.
What’s wrong with Wikipedia? Wikipedia suffers from the problem that it is not a primary source and has somewhat weak quality control. It has suffered from the problem of deliberate sabotage, vandalism, even censorship. It’s generally reliable for checking routine facts and extremely specialized topics, and it’s often the only source on popular culture, but avoid citing it in serious research.
Why not just use Google? The articles that come up on Google are a varied bunch, many of them commercial and even useless, mostly not at all scholarly. By obtaining your sources from the library’s Database, you will find acceptable articles.
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