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Tutt Library Research Guides


History Day: Cite Sources

A resource for teachers and students to use for National History Day research

Use the Cite Feature

Many databases have a "cite button" that will give you citation information. 

EbscoHost Databases:


Your Annotated Works Cited


Annotated Works Cited Page Help

An annotated bibliography is required for History Day papers and projects. The annotations for each source must:

  1. Explain if the source is primary or secondary. Explain why you categorized a particular source as primary or secondary. Sources of visual materials and oral interviews, if used, must also be included.
  2. If it is a primary source, explain how this source relates to the topic.
  3. Discuss the credibility of the source (authority, currency, accuracy).
  4. Explain how the source was used and how it helped you understand your topic. You should also use the annotation to List only those sources that you used to develop your entry. An annotation normally should be only 1-3 sentences long.
  • Source (example):
    Bates, Daisy. The Long Shadow of Little Rock. 1st ed. New York: David McKay Co. Inc., 1962.
  • Annotation (example):
    Daisy Bates was the president of the Arkansas NAACP and the one who met and listened to the students each day. This primary source (first-hand account) was very important to my paper because it made me more aware of the feelings of the people involved.
Content © 2009 National History Day.

Why Cite Sources?

When you quote or paraphrase the idea of another person in your research paper or speech, you must provide a proper citation for the source in a bibliography or list of references. This gives credit to the author and enables the reader to locate the resource you cited. 

Providing references for sources you used also lends credibility to your work, especially if you use authoritative sources. 

If you use other people's ideas and do not give them credit by providing proper references to their work, you are committing plagiarism. Plagiarism is an honor code violation as well as a federal crime. 

Content courtesy of NSU Libraries.

Understanding Citations

In your research, you will need to understand how to interpret the citations you find in indexes and bibliographies, as well as how to cite sources in your own bibliographies.

Interpreting Citations

A citation is a reference to a source of information. It should include enough identifying information, including such information as the author, title, and source, so that a reader can locate a copy of the item. Citations may reference any type of information including: 

  • Book 
  • Essay or chapter in a book 
  • Journal article 
  • Magazine article 
  • Newspaper article
  • NSU MARP or practicum 
  • Conference proceeding 
  • Dissertation 
  • Internet document 
  • ERIC ED document
  • Government document 
  • Speech 
  • Radio or television broadcast 
  • Video or movie

Book Citation

Sample of a book citation

HINT: When trying to determine whether the library owns a book, check TIGER by searching for the author or title. 

Magazine Article Citation

Sample of a magazine article citation

HINT: When trying to determine whether the library owns a magazine, check Find Journals by searching for the title of the magazine rather than using the title of the article. 

Journal Article Citation

Sample of a journal article citation

HINT: When trying to determine whether the library owns a journal, check TIGER by searching for the title of the journal rather than using the title of the article. 

ERIC ED Document Citation

Sample of an ERIC ED document citation

HINT: For information on locating ERIC Documents (EDs), visit the ERIC website or EBSCO's Education Source database. 

Research & Citiation Help

Citing Primary Sources

The following sites offer guides to citing primary sources in the Chicago style:

Library of Congress

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Citation at a Glance: Primary Source from a Web Site (Diana Hacker)

Citation Style

Tutt Library, Colorado College      Research Help Desk: 719-389-6662, Texting: 719-387-5441, E-mail: