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Critical Thinking & Academic Research

This guide is created to aid you in your development of critical thinking skills and in your ability to conduct research using library resources.

Explain the Citation You Use

Explaining and analyzing the information you are citing is the most important part of your research process that lets you incorporate your critical thinking skills. It basically lets your reader see how you combine your own ideas with the existing research in the field. 

After introducing the information you must always state why you are citing it in your research hence connects us to the beginning of this guide. Remember the "evaluating" the resources according to your research topic section and why you chose these resources in the first place. 

  • From the carefully evaluated resources that you gathered, now it is time to chose/identify some sections that mostly SUPPORT your thesis/argument. Take notes while you are identifying these sections and make sure you remember where you find these sections. 
  • Think about CITATION embedding in your paper in three steps:

1- Introduce the Citation (Introduce the author and the idea/claim that your citation will support). 

2- Cite the citation using one of the three citation methods (quotations, paraphrasing, or summarizing). This is the part that contains solid facts that stand as evidence to back up your point. 

3- Explain how this information supports your thesis in your own words using your critical thinking. Indicate whether you agree or disagree with the information you cite and explain how it connects to your own standpoint. 

Think about a Citation Sandwich three-layer formula where the introduction is the top bun and the citation is the meat and the last layer is your interpretation. Remember you can always expand this formula by adding more layers to it. 

Here is an EXAMPLE paragraph:

The citation sandwich and example paragraph is adopted from Tacoma Community College Library Research Guide. 


G.R. Little Library

Elizabeth City State University