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8th Grade: Research Resources: Citations

A guide to research basics including citations, primary/secondary sources, and evaluation tips, plus information on your eBook account.

Citation tools

Many database articles contain citation information that you can copy into your bibliography.

Citation tools auto-create a citation for you. You enter the book, magazine, article, or website title and the tool will generate and populate all the appropriate fields. Select the appropriate medium (website, book, journal, newspaper, other, etc) before you enter your title.

Here are two options (note that both contain ads):

Remember that citation generators are powerful tools but they cannot, and should not, do your thinking for you! Always double check the information that the tool outputs.

Format basics

There are many different styles (rules) for citations. One of the most popular is the Modern Language Association (MLA) style. You will be doing your bibliography in MLA style. 

Here are common elements of an MLA book citation and how they look:

  • Author
  • Book Title
  • Publisher Location
  • Publisher
  • Publication Date

(click to expand image)

Annotated Bibliography

For many projects, your teacher will ask you to create an annotated bibliography. To do this you have to:

  1. Cite source (in MLA format)
  2. Explain why you chose the source
  3. Explain why the source itself is a legitimate place to find factual information
  4. Explain how you used your source (what you learned, etc)


Laughland, Oliver, and Tom Silverstone. “Liquid Genocide: Alcohol Destroyed Pine Ridge Reservation – Then They Fought Back.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 29 Sept. 2017,

We chose this source because it focuses on the effects of alcohol on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota. This source is a legitimate place to find information because it provides a historical account of laws surrounding alcohol use on Native American reservations. The article includes quotes from people living on the reservation. We used this source to gain a sense of the impact of alcohol use on the lives of people living on the reservation.