Finding and Evaluating Open Web Sources (updated 10-2019)
Information literacy topics:
Determining best sources
Searching strategies for information
Using technology tools
Objective: To learn to find relevant and reliable open web research sources, to evaluate these sources for reliability, and to use appropriate technology tools.
1.Go to activity guide online at:
Amity website→High School→AHS Library Information Center
Find Online Stuff→By Subject→History→Class Projects →(your teacher) →Finding and Evaluating Open Web Sources
2. Individual Analysis:
2.a. Consider a web source. Imagine you are looking for information that discusses the influence that the French Revolution has had on the rest of the world from the end of the 18th century to the present.
Health and hygiene in the 19th century (if “Legacies” site does not work)
2.b. Respond to this statement. You have 3 minutes:
“This web resource has been judged to offer credible information that is appropriate for academic research. Find at least 3 reasons to show that this is true.”
3. Discussion: Share reasons why this website is appropriate for research (why the information here can be trusted).
4. Presentation/discussion: Brainstorm and list various search terms from a topic sentence.
“The core concept of the French Revolution--the understanding that the masses have the same right to share society’s wealth as the privileged few--is the legacy that has informed every subsequent movement for independence or democracy anywhere in the world.”
Think of key words or common expressions specific to the topic
Think of synonyms:
Think of the most important terms:
Think of terms that might sometimes be too limiting:
Use “...” for phrases, ANDs, ORs, and parenthesis to structure search
Sample search: French Revolution, effects, history,
5. Practice: Search for a reliable research site, identifying the following information on this FORM. The source does NOT have to be reliable; all that matters is evaluating it thoroughly.
Sample Search Results: Unverifiable Source
The French Revolution, by Richard Geib
While this essay is eye-catching, and well-written, the problem here is that it is hard to find out much about the author. Tracing the root URL, you see that this is a website for a history teacher named Rich Geib. While he may be a wonderful and rigorous historian, we know nothing about his qualifications to write about history with an acceptable level of balance and rigor, nor can we even guess about what his potential biases might be. This might be a great website to learn more about the topic, but it is basically a hobby site, and as such, is not appropriate for academic research.
This presentation done on the Prezi platform is typical of sites that CANNOT be used for research. If you read the text, you will realize that it is full of the errors in grammar and and misuse of vocabulary too often seen in student work. This site is most likely a student’s class project, and as such is completely inappropriate as a serious source.
For more information, see the attached Lesson Plan below.
World History (updated 9-2018)
Introduction to Citations, References, and Note-taking with NoodleTools
Information literacy topics:
-Organizing source citations
-Using technology tools
Objective: To understand and define the concept of a research “citation”, and to use a web citation generator, NoodleTools, to create citations and bibliographic references, and organize notes.
1: Find the activities for this class, at:
Amity website→High School→AHS Library Information Center
(tab) Find Online Stuff→By Subject→History
(tab) Class Projects →Cumpstone→ Introduction to Citations, References, and Note-taking with NoodleTools
Part A: Understanding and Creating Citations
2. Discuss objective.
3. Answer the question, “What kind of information is included in a citation?”
4. Answer the question, “What kind of source is this?” (see below). What parts of the citation can you identify?
Mead, Karen. "Reign of Terror: French Revolution and Napoleonic War." World at War: Understanding Conflict and Society. ABC-CLIO, 2005. Accessed October 5, 2016. http://worldhistory.abc-clio.com.
5. Sign up for your account in NoodleTools.
Activate your own personal account through your @amityschools.org Google account.
Go to the NoodleTools log-in screen.
Enter your @amityschools.org Google account email.
Click “Sign In with Google”.
Re-enter your Amity Google account email, and your Google password.
For 7th/8th/9th Grades: (other grades, look here).
Click on “Create a new account”.
Choose “I am a student”.
Choose your graduation year.
Click “Save Profile”.
Under “My Profile” make sure your first and last names are complete.
You are now in Noodle Tools!
Your new username is your Google @amityschools.org email address and password.
6. Create a project to begin citations.
6.a. Click on “New Project”.
6.b. Enter a “Project Title”.
6.c. Choose “Chicago/Turabian” style (for this History class), and click the “Advanced” citation level for full functionality. Click “Submit”.
6.d. Write a “Research Question” (think of something related to your topic).
6.e. Write a “Thesis” statement. This is the statement or question you will prove or discuss.
6.f. Click the “Projects” tab to view your project list.
6.g. Click on the name of your project to open it.
6.h. Click on the “Sources” tab. You are now ready to cite a source.
7. Create a COPY AND PASTE citation for a database article.
7.a. Go to this article from the ABC-Clio database World at War, titled “Reign of Terror: French Revolution and Napoleonic War”.
7.b. Click on “CITE” in the top of the page.
7.c. COPY the citation (use Chigago format).
7.d. Return to NoodleTools, and click on “Create a New Citation”.
7.e. Answer the question “Where is it?”. Note that the choice here refers to WHERE the source was found, not what KIND of source it is. Choose “Database”.
7.f. Answer the question “WHAT is it?”.Choose “Original Content in Database” (because the citation shows this article was written for this database).
7.g. Click “Quick Cite”: Copy & Paste Citation”. Paste in the citation you copied.
7.h. Click “Submit”. Look at your citation.
You can check the accuracy of your citation by looking at the Chicago style guide HERE.
Mead, Karen. "Reign of Terror: French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars." In World at War: Understanding Conflict and Society, ABC-CLIO, 2005. Accessed October 5, 2016. https://worldatwar.abc-clio.com/Search/Display/1482371.
8. Create a MANUAL citation for a database article.
8.a. Go to the same article from the ABC-Clio database World at War.
8.b. From the Sources tab, click on “Create a New Citation”.
8.c. Answer the question “Where is it?”. Once again choose “Database”.
8.d. Answer the question “WHAT is it?”. Once again choose “Original Content in Database” (because the citation shows it was written for this database).
8.e. Start filling in as much information as you can, copying from the article, and adjusting the text as needed. Notice the pop-up hints.
8.f. Click “Submit”.
8.g. Compare your finished citation to the citation below.
-Did you fill in the date you got the article?
-Did you use the HOME page URL since the article URL was so long and complicated?
Mead, Karen. "Reign of Terror." World at War: Understanding Conflict and
8.g. Now compare your two citations, the copy/paste and the manual.
If they are different, it is usually because you either did not include all the citation information, OR because the citation you copied from the database was not correct, OR because the citation software is not always right. What do think are the reasons here?
Remember that databases are not always capable of interpreting article information correctly.
9. Student practice: Create an MANUAL citation for a database article.
Create a MANUAL citation for a database article.
9.a. Go to this article titled: “The Fall of Robespierre”, from the EBSCO publishing company’s database History Resource Center.
9.b. Back in NoodleTools, from the Sources tab, click on “Create a New Citation”.
9.c. Answer the question “Where is it?”. Once again choose “Database”.
9.d. Answer the question “WHAT is it?”. Choose “Magazine” because this is an article in a magazine called “History Today”.
9.e. Start filling in as much information as you can, copying from the article:
-DOI (Direct Object Identifier): there is none listed
-URL: find the "permalink" on the right, because it does not change.
-Name of database: find it
-Database accession number: find it
-Most recent date of access: (today's date)
-Author: find it
-Article title: find it
-Pages: find it
-Name of journal: find it
-Volume: find it
-Issue: find it
-Publication date: find it
-Series: there is none listed
9.f. Click “Submit”.
9.g. Compare your finished citation to the citation below.
Jones, Colin. "The Fall of Robespierre." History Today, August 2015, 39-44.
9.10. Now compare your finished citation to the copy-paste citation provided by EBSCO. Look at the differences (possibly due to different Chicago versions, and errors in NoodleTools).
Jones, Colin. "The Fall of Robespierre.. (cover story)." History Today 65, no. 8 (August 2015): 39-44. History Reference Center, EBSCOhost (accessed October 5, 2016).
10. Create a MANUAL citation from a web source.
(temporarily non-working) “Women and the Revolution”, from the website:
Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: Exploring the French Revolution, a joint project of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (George Mason University) and American Social History Project (City University of New York)
10.b. Back in NoodleTools, from the Sources tab, click on “Create a New Citation”.
10.c. Answer the question “Where is it?”. Once again choose “Website”.
10.d. Answer the question “WHAT is it?”. Choose “Web page” because this online article is really a page in the larger museum web site.
10.e. Start filling in as much information as you can, copying from the article:
-URL: find it
-Date of publication: find it; if none, leave it blank.
-Most recent date of access: use it
-Contributors: find the author
-Web Page or document/article title: Find the article title
-Name of the website: find it (not the same as the publisher)
-Publisher of the site: Find it (bottom of page)
-Editors of the site as a whole: hard to find. We'll talk about this.
10.f. Click “Submit”.
10.g. Compare your finished citation to the citation below.
Hunt, Lynn, and Jack Censer, eds. "Women and the Revolution." Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: Exploring the French Revolution. Accessed October 6, 2016. http://chnm.gmu.edu/revolution/chap5a.html#.
Citing your sources within your paper
ChicagoStyle (updated 10-2018)
As of the 2016-17 Amity's History Department has decided to use Chicago Notes and Bibliography Style (footnotes) as its citation style.
Resource developed by Amity librarians with the most commonly used sources and how to accurately cite them. Includes bibliography format as well as how to cite in footnotes.
Very practical and reliable guide published by renowned Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL). Chicago includes two basic documentation systems: notes-bibliography style (or simply bibliography style) and author-date style (sometimes called reference list style). Here are the basic differences:
-Notes-bibliography style (required style for History at Amity):
The basics of the note-bibliography style are as follows: Whenever you need to cite a source, a superscript number is placed in the text at the end of the sentence or part of the sentence that contains the paraphrase or quote taken from your source.
The same number corresponding to that reference is placed, normal-sized, in the footnote area at the bottom of the page or the end of the section (your teacher’s choice).
The first time a source is used in a document the entire bibliography form is used in the footnote, but the footnote format is slightly different. The second time the citation is used in the footnote it is shortened even more (see rules). When the same source is used twice or more in a row, you write “ibid” (which means “the same”), and change page number if needed.
A full bibliography at the end of the paper includes all complete source citations sources with their complete citation forms, in alphabetic order.
Part B: Creating and Organizing Notes in NoodleTools
1. Create a new note in NoodleTools.
1.a. If you are in “Sources”, click on the “Notecards” tab.
If you are on the “Projects” page, click on your practice project to get to the “Dashboard” tab. Once there, click on the “Notecards” tab.
1.b. Click “+New” to create a new note.
1.c. Write a “Title” that represents the basic idea of your note.
1.d. Choose one of your source citations from the dropdown menu.
1.e. Cut and paste a “Direct quotation”, a “paraphrase or summary”, or an original “My idea”.
1.f. Take the time to create a well-written note NOW, that could get slotted right in your paper.
1.g. Be sure to add a “Tag” which should represent the specific topic or theme of the note. Be specific, because you will use tags to group similar notes together. Tags with more than one word should be in quotes.
1.h. Click “Save and Close”.
1.i. Create a second note in the same way for the same article, or another article. You need two notes for the next step. You may find that one note obscures the other on the desktop; just drag it off.
2. Group notes together by common topics/themes.
2.a. Drag one note on top of the other, and release it to create a “Pile” (terrible name).
2.b. Name your “Pile” . A “Pile” name can be a category/theme/topic that both notes address. We are pretending that the two notes deal with the same specific topic.
2.c. Click OK.
2.d. Create two more new notes, and make a new “Pile”.
3. Convert notes to outlines.
3.a. Click the “Add+” button to create a few headings. You can change the name of topics by double-clicking, and rearrange the hierarchy by dragging and dropping.
3.b. Now DRAG one of your piles, or loose notes, right on top of any outline heading on the right until the heading is highlighted, and DROP it there. It will now appear as a note in that heading of the outline. You can rearrange the notes in the outline by dragging and dropping.
4. Export or print notes.
4.a. On the Notecard desktop, click “Print” to export your saved notes.
4.b. Notice the export options. Choose one, and practice downloading exported notes. Note that choosing Google requires signing into your Google account.
8. Cite your sources within your paper. How? See notes below.
What is a citation?
A citation is all the information you need to tell where an idea or quotation came from, and to be able to find that source again.
“What kind of information is included in a citation?”
Citations can include the following information, and more...
place of publication
publisher (and more about where it can be found)
date of publication
medium (type of publication)
date you found it (electronic resources)
web address (URL) IF your teacher requires it.
Note: the medium (type) of publication may be: Print, Web, File, Film, CD-ROM, DVD, etc. and more, depending on the kind of information
Cite your sources within your paper.
How do you cite the article in the body of your paper?
Chicago includes two basic documentation systems: notes-bibliography style (or simply bibliography style) and author-date style (sometimes called reference list style). We are using the notes-bibliography style.
The basics of the note-bibliography style are as follows: Whenever you need to cite a source, a superscript number is placed in the text at the end of the sentence or part of the sentence. A normal-sized number corresponding to that reference is placed at the end of the page or the end of the section (your teacher’s choice). The first time a source is used at the bottom of the page, the entire citation form is used. The second time it is used at the bottom it is shortened (see rules). When the same source is used twice or more in a row, you write “ibid” (which means “the same”), and change page number if needed. The bibliography at the end includes all sources with their complete citation forms, in alphabetic order.
Look at this Chicago (notes and bibliography style) sample paper.
You will need to follow the instructions and examples from a reliable source, like the writing experts at Purdue University’s CHICAGO style pages.
b. Recommended Newer Works:
Google Search "Amity Library".
Wait for instructions.