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• Thesis must make a specific and significant claim. Remember to ask “So what?” Why does your alleged thesis matter? If it doesn’t, you need a new thesis
• It must have a minimum of five sources
• It must follow MLA style and formatting
• All in-text and works cited page citations must follow MLA style.
• Do not use the Word function for citations
• The works cited must be annotated. Answer these questions about each source you cite.
o What kind of source is this? (Book, website (whose?), journal article, whatever)
o Why do you trust this source? (Finding it on the library’s database is not reason enough. Why is it trustworthy enough to be in the database?)
• Be sure your sources are credible.
o Do not use sites such as Psychology Today or WebMD or They are imitations of reputable sources.
o If you find a newspaper article about a study that you want to use, find the study. Read and cite it, not the newspaper article.
o Do not use or cite Shmoop, School Work Helper, Spark Notes, Ivy Panda or any similar site. Sites that will sell you papers are not credible sources.
o Do not cite a journal article’s abstract. Read and cite the article.
o Academic journals are the best sources.
• Sources are works cited only if you cite them in your paper – and you should cite every quote and every piece of information you take from someone else’s work.
• You must use at least one direct quote.
• Remember to properly introduce and cite quotes. Readers should know why they should trust the information you’re giving them.