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How To...Research a Debate (Yuhl)

Created for HIST 205 (Yuhl), Spring 2024

Cite & Annotate

Once you've found all of your sources, it's time to give credit where credit is due and properly cite them. Try writing your citations as soon as you find your sources, and incorporating them while you write. You'll save so much frustration on the other end of your research process, and seriously reduce the risk of accidental plagiarism. Don't forget that you can always ask a librarian for help with citations (or anything else on this research guide). 

Cite & Annotate


For citing legal and government documents (for example, Congressional documents): 


If you are unsure as to how to cite a source, check with your professor or a librarian. You can also consult the resources listed on the previous tab. 

Article - from an online journal

Author Lastname, Firstname. "Article Title." Journal Title volume, no. issue (date): pages [if available]. DOI, stable URL or database name.

Polizzi, Craig, Steven Jay Lynn and Andrew Perry. "Stress and Coping in the Time of COVID-19: Pathways to Resilience and Recovery." Clinical Neuropsychiatry 17, no. 2 (2020: 59-62. doi:10.36131/CN20200204.

Article - from an online newspaper/magazine

Author Lastname, Firstname [if applicable]. "Article Title." Newspaper Title, month day, year. Stable URL or database name.

Keyes, Sarah. "Will COVID-19 Lead to Men and Women Splitting Care Work More Evenly?" Washington Post, May 12, 2020. Gale OneFile. 

Blog post 
Author Lastname, Firstname [or screenname if unknown]. "Post Title." Blog Title (blog), Blog Source [if applicable], month day, year. URL.

Pichardo, Margaret S., Briana Christophers and Gezzer Ortega. "The COVID-19 Response Is Failing Communities of Color." Voices (blog), Scientific American, May 7, 2020.


Author Lastname, Firstname. Book Title. City: Publisher, Date. E-Book Platform.

Skidmore, Max J. Presidents, Pandemics and Politics. New York; Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. SpringerLink. 

Image from a website 

**Make sure you are tracking down and citing an 'original' source, not just Google Images!**

Creator Lastname, Firstname [or screenname] [if known]. "Image Title." [insert citation for the image source according to normal rules for that source type].

Cote, Edd. "UMass Memorial Medical Center on Thursday Began A Special Coronavirus Screening Process for Referred Patients at Its University Campus in Worcester." Worcester Business Journal, March 19, 2020.

Interview - published (ex., in a newspaper, podcast, etc.) 

Interviewee Lastname, Firstname. "Interview Title." By InterviewerFullName. [insert citation for the interview source according to normal rules for that source type].

Dickson, Eric. "Dr. Eric Dickson, President & CEO of UMass Memorial Health Care Discusses How The System Is Faring In The Fight Against COVID-19." Spectrum News 1, April 27, 2020.

DiMokas, Elle. "Coronavirus Positive: 'People were just going about their lives’: Teacher Elle DiMokas Recounts Contracting COVID-19 in Spain, Traveling Back to U.S." By Tom Matthews. MassLive, April 4, 2020.

Interview - unpublished (usually one you've conducted yourself, or have found in an archive) 

Interviewee Lastname, Firstname (descriptive information, if appropriate). Interview by InterviewerFullName, location, month day, year. [Information for accessing a transcript and/or recording, if applicable].

Whelan, Joshua (high-school teacher). Interview by Jennifer Whelan, Plymouth, MA, July 6, 2020. Transcript, Holy Cross COVID Chronicles Collection, College of the Holy Cross Archives, Worcester, MA. 

**If your interviewee prefers not to be identified: Normally, you would leave the interviewee out of any bibliography and just include a footnote saying something like: 

Interview with high school teacher, July 6, 2020. 


Social media post

Author Lastname, Firstname [if known]/ (Screen name). "Text of the post, up to 160 characters." Social media platform and format/medium [if applicable], month day, year, timestamp [optional]. URL.

Sommer (@sfross_12). "Such a beautiful sight, on the last day on campus before going home for the rest of the semester due to COVID-19, a rainbow arcs over the @holy_cross campus." Twitter photo, March 13, 2020, 5:35 p.m.

Search Premier.


Each annotation should analyze and evaluate, not just summarize, the resource you read.

 Annotations should reflect your own experience with a source – don’t rely on reviews or summaries. 

 Your annotations should address such areas as:

  1. Arguments (what is the author arguing? do they do it well?);
  2. Comparisons between this source and other sources you are annotating;
  3. The relevance or usefulness of each source for your topic, and/or
  4. Other information about the source that struck you as particularly notable or useful. 

Ideally, you should aim to cover at least a couple of these points and have ~200 words in each annotation. 

Make sure that your bibliography is in the correct style (probably MLA). This means that

  1. Your citations should follow the MLA (or other style) standard for whatever type of source you are citing;
  2. Each entry should be correctly formatted: with any second line of the citation and your annotations indented, in alphabetical order, and double-spaced if your style calls for it. 

See the handout below for more tips and a sample bibliography: 


When conducting your research, it's important not to lose track of your sources of information! 

With RefWorks, you can import references from Holy Cross databases to create your own personal list of references and bibliographies for your papers. This will help you with formatting as well as with keeping track of all of the different sources you've drawn on for your research. 

A few RefWorks caveats and tips: 

  • ALWAYS proofread your citations. RefWorks only knows what the database feeds it -- if there is anything wrong with the information in the database or other source you used, RefWorks will repeat that incorrect information. 
  • Be aware of RefWorks' strengths and weaknesses. RefWorks works well for traditional, published sources of information. It is less accurate at recording the correct citation details and formats for things like websites and social media. 
  • Actively curate your RefWorks library. As an initial step, you can absolutely do a quick export and walk away. But long-term, it's to your benefit to make use of folders and other organizational tools and to edit your references, to correct things like all-caps and misspellings and add relevant notes. Taking the time to do this at the front-end means that the process of converting those disparate references into a bibliography will go much more smoothly. 
  • RefWorks will often import the author's official abstract or summary along with the citation. Be wary of this if you are using the annotated bibliographies feature, to make sure that the final bibliography includes your writing, not theirs. 


Need more help with RefWorks? You can always set up an appointment for a one-on-one "tutorial." 

You should also check out the helpful Research Guides below: