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Great Issues and Controversies of the Modern World - Summer 2019: Sustainability Policy Paper


As you research sustainability and look into how communities across the world are implementing certain programs or initiatives, a Google search may give you the most up-to-date information and news. However, not all websites are trustworthy and worthy of citation in your academic work.

Remember to consider the following when evaluating a website:

Who... is responsible for the website? Is there a specific author or publisher? Consider what makes that person or publisher a credible source.

What... is actually on the website? Is it general information that you could find (and confirm) elsewhere? Is it a book, a magazine article, a primary source? What makes it useful and valuable to you and your research?

When... what the information published?

Where... did the author find the information? Can you find a bibliography or sources?

Why... does this website as a whole exist? Is its purpose to entertain, make money, or educate? Look for the "About Us" section of the website to find this information.


Once you put together the answers to those five questions, you will have an idea of whether or not you should cite it in your bibliography. If you're still not sure, simply ask your teacher or a librarian to help you!

Reference and Secondary Sources

Begin your research by getting some background on your topic. The following databases will provide you with both reference source material and more specific information. Start get an idea about broader, narrower, and related terms, and ways in which you will organize your thoughts.

Next, see how others are describing the issue and outlining potential solutions and remedies. While the sources in this database appropriate to cite in your academic work, remember to consider the author's perspective (and potential bias) as you evaluate the article and take notes.

Writing & Citation