Writing Mentor Tools

Refer individuals you are tutoring who require more in-depth information to a reference librarian during these Reference Hours.

PowerPoint presentation: Research workshop, January, 2009.


  • Subject Guides listed under Research Help section of the library home page for research information specific to each major at Goshen College and
  • Writing & Citing for tips on identifying scholarly sources, evaluating sources, and writing an annotated bibliography.

How to evaluate sources

  • Critically analyzing information sources. Cornell University Libraries. Lists some of the questions you should ask when you consider the appropriateness of a particular book, article, media resource, or Web site for your research.
  • Evaluation Criteria. New Mexico State University Library. The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly: Or, Why It's a Good Idea to Evaluate Web Sources.
  • Evaluating Web Pages. University of California Berkeley. Techniques to apply and questions to ask.

How to avoid plagiarism

  • Avoiding Plagiarism. Purdue University Online Writing Lab.
  • 6 steps to effective paraphrasing. Purdue University Online Writing Lab.

    1. Reread the original passage until you understand its full meaning.
    2. Set the original aside, and write your paraphrase on a note card.
    3. Jot down a few words below your paraphrase to remind you later how you envision using this material. At the top of the note card, write a key word or phrase to indicate the subject of your paraphrase.
    4. Check your rendition with the original to make sure that your version accurately expresses all the essential information in a new form.
    5. Use quotation marks to identify any unique term or phraseology you have borrowed exactly from the source.
    6. Record the source (including the page) on your note card so that you can credit it easily if you decide to incorporate the material into your paper.

How to correctly cite material

  • See APA, MLA, SBL (Society of Biblical Literature), Chicago, and Turabian for citation style examples from the Good Library.
  • The best sources of information on citation styles are the most recent editions of the citation style handbooks. Refer to these primary sources, rather than secondary books or websites that summarize the primary sources, whenever in doubt.
    • The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition. University of Chicago Press: Chicago, 2003.
    • Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 6th edition. Modern Language Association: New York, 2003.
    • Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 5th edition. American Psychological Association: Washington D.C., 2001.
    • The SBL Handbook of Style: For Ancient Near Eastern, Biblical, and Early Christian Studies. Hendrickson Publishers: Peabody, MA, 1999.
    • Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 7th edition. University of Chicago Press: Chicago, 2007.


Google Directory Created by human subject-matter experts. Use when you want to view only pages that have been evaluated by a human editor. Utilizes Open Directory Project.

Infomine Scholarly internet resource collections, Univ. of CA libraries

Intute "the very best web resources for education and research." All material is evaluated and selected by a network of subject specialists from a consortium of seven British universities, including Oxford.

Librarian's Index to the Internet "Websites you can trust." Administered by California State Library.

Library Spot A free virtual library for educators, students, librarians, and their patrons. Published by Northwestern University/Evanston Research Park.

Virtual Reference Desk Selected web resources compiled by the Library of Congress.

WWW Virtual Library One of the highest quality guides to particular sections of the web. Begun in 1991 by Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web.


Updated 10-Feb-2009 SWH