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Making an A on your History Paper (Southshore): Sources to avoid

This libGuide will help you find quality sources that will impress your professor

Library Database Sources to Avoid

As I mentioned on the previous page, while the HCC library databases are wonderful, not everything in them is scholarly. Below is a list of material types you should AVOID AT ALL COSTS!:

  1. Newspapers (think New York Times, CNN, World Today, etc.)
  2. Popular Magazines (think ESPN, Cosmopolitan, Sports Today, Sports Illustrated, National Geographic, etc. ) 
  3. Films (think anything that is not in print... even a documentary!)
  4. Primary Sources (think anything written in the first person using "I")
  5. Pamphlets

Remember if you do not see a Work Cited or Reference Page walk away from the article! 

Good versus Evil Sources

Web Resources to Avoid

Google is a wonderful place full of a plethora of articles, however, determining the credibility of those articles can be tricky. A good rule of thumb is to avoid the following web pages and types of web pages:

  1. Wikipedia (This page can be edited by anyone and all information should be considered false until proven otherwise.)
  2. history.com (This page is created by television producers and not professional historians. It is not a reliable resource.)
  3. biography.com (This page is created by television producers and not professional historians. It is not a reliable source.)
  4. any URL ending in .com (While there are some good .com pages it is very difficult to determine the reliability of these types of pages and they should best be avoided)
  5. any URL ending in .org (Again while there are some good .org cites it is also very difficult to determine the reliability of these types of pages and they should be avoided at all costs.)

Remember if you do not see a Work Cited or Reference page walk away from the web page in question!