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ENGL 112: Poetry and Song

Evaluating Sources

Evaluating your sources is a crucial step of the research process. You need to evaluate carefully each source to determine its appropriateness and quality.

Check our Evaluating Sources Checklist for criteria used to judge information sources and our Scholarly and Popular Resources page to distinguish between scholarly and popular publications.

It is particularly important to evaluation information that you find on the Web. Because there are no rules and anyone can post a page on the Web, you will have to determine whether the web site is of value. Go to Evaluating Web Sources for specific criteria used to analyze websites.

Check our Distinguishing Scholarly Journals from Other Periodicals page in order to evaluate periodicals by looking at their content, purpose, and intended audience.


The Queen's University English Department has adopted the following as its general guide to matters of writing and citation.

Hacker, Diane. A Canadian Writer's Reference. 6th ed.
 PE1408 .H258 2016 (on Reserve)

Hacker, Diane. A Pocket Style Manual. 6th ed.
PE1408 .H26 2009 (on Reserve)

The following introductions and guides may also be useful:

Sylvan Barnet & Reid Gilbert. A Short Guide to Writing about Literature. 1st Cdn ed.
PE1479 .C7 B3 1997t

John Peck & Martin Coyle. Practical Criticism: The Complete Guide to Writing an Analysis of a Poem, Novel and Play.
PR57 .P425 1995t

Steven Lynn. Texts and Contexts: Writing about Literature with Critical Theory.
PE1479 .C7 L96 1998

Citing Sources

The authoritative source for citation practice in literary studies is:

MLA Handbook

  • REF LB2369 .G53
  • MLA Format   (OWL at Purdue University)

Useful resources on OWL (Dept. of English Language and Literature)

Writing in Literature

The Purdue University Online Writing Lab has information on get started writing papers on various topics such as: