Citation, Documentation of Sources

Q. In my essay, I have referred to a couple of articles passed to me by an interviewee. They are photocopied, and the article titles and dates are either blurred or missing. How should I footnote and biblio the photocopied materials?

A. These are not proper sources and you must not quote them. I’m sorry—it would be very sloppy scholarship. You might as well write, “I overheard this on the subway.” You might take the photocopies to a library and ask the reference librarian if she can help you find some clues as to their origin. Or try typing a distinctive phrase from the pages into a search engine and see if the article appears online.