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The library is here to assist you throughout the research and writing process.

We can help you find:

Stop by the library desk, call us, or submit your reference question online and receive an e-mail response. Research consultations are also available by appointment.

 

These resources can also help you navigate the research and writing process:

Seven Steps to Effective Research
A step-by-step guide to completing research assignments, from choosing a topic to citing your sources. Each step includes links to library resources and research guides.

Research Tutorials
Interactive online tutorials that walk you through the research process and test your skills and research IQ.

Writing Resources Subject Guide
Manuals, handbooks, and other resources for writing an academic research paper, including both in-print and online sources.

MLA Citation Resources
Guidelines, examples, and reference manuals to help you avoid plagiarism and correctly format your in-text citations and Works Cited pages.

Brochures, Handouts, and How-to Guides
Information and instructions for using the library's electronic databases and other online resources, as well as handouts on research topics such as evaluating resources and citing sources.

Evaluate Websites

When researching, it is very important to make sure that you are getting the correct information and from a reliable source. This tools helps to evaluate websites that will show you what to look for in a reliable website.

Research Steps

Seven Steps to Effective Research 

Adapted with permission from The Seven Steps of the Research Process, Reference Department, Collections, Reference, Instruction & Outreach (CRIO), Cornell University Library, Ithaca, NY)

Step 1: Identify and develop your topic.

State your topic as a question (for example, "What effect does use of alcoholic beverages have on the health of college students?"). Then identify the main concepts or keywords in your question (in the above example, alcoholic beverages, health, college students). Test the main concepts and keywords by using them as search terms in catalogs and databases. The number of results you get will help you determine if you need to broaden or narrow your topic.

Step 2: Find background information.

Look up your keywords in the indexes of subject encyclopedias, as well as in your course textbooks and reserve readings. Read articles on these topics to set the context for your research. Note any useful sources listed in the bibliography.

Step 3: Use catalogs to find books and media.

Search the Irving Shapiro Library catalog for books on your topic. Print or write down the citation and call number. Note the circulation status. When you pull the book from the shelf, scan the surrounding shelves for similar sources. For additional resources, search the Chicago Public LibraryI-Share, and WorldCat catalogs and request these items via interlibrary loan (be sure to allow 2 weeks for delivery).

Related handouts and how-to guides: Finding books in the library using call numbers

Step 4: Use indexes to find periodical articles.

Search for periodical articles by subject, author, title, or keyword in theLIRN databases (for off-campus access, contact the library for a User ID and password). If the full text of the article is not linked in the index you are using, ask the librarian for help locating the article in one of the library's print periodicals or obtaining it through interlibrary loan.

Step 5: Find Internet resources.

Use search engines and subject directories to locate materials on the Web. Check to see if the librarian has created a subject guide for your class or topic.

Step 6: Evaluate what you find.

Evaluate the currency, reliability, authority, and purpose/point of view of your sources to make sure that they're appropriate for your assignment. If you have found too many or too few sources, you may need to narrow or broaden your topic.

Related handouts and how-to guides: Evaluating online resources checklist

Step 7: Cite what you find using a standard format.

As you research, record the complete citation for each source that you find. As you write, be sure to include an in-text citation for any information (quoted or paraphrased) that comes from an outside source, and provide a corresponding entry for each source on your Works Cited page. Refer to style manuals and citation guides for help with formatting.

Related handouts and how-to guides: Citing sources and MLA style

Still have questions?

For help with any of these steps, visit the library or contact the librarian.

Tutorials -LOOK

Online information literacy tutorials to walk you through the research process. Some of the material may be specific to the libraries of the host college or university, but most of the concepts covered can be applied to Academy assignments and Irving Shapiro Library resources.

 

Searchpath (University of Central Oklahoma Chambers Library)
Follows the research process step by step, from identifying resources to citing sources. Interactive exercises with instantaneous feedback are included throughout. The Information Sources, Searching Strategies, and Citing Sources modules are especially useful. You don’t have to be a UCO student to test your knowledge with the end-of-module quizzes, but entering a name and e-mail address is required to check your answers.

Research 101 (University of Washington Libraries)
“Covers the basics, including how to select a topic and develop research questions, as well as how to select, search for, find, and evaluate information sources.” Many modules contain activities and exercises. The end-of-module quizzes are graded instantly, question by question. No login is required.

Comprehensive Online Research Education (CORE) (Purdue University Libraries)
Focuses on the research process, with particular attention to planning a research project and selecting a topic. The “Plan Your Project” module includes a project timeline calculator, and the Topic Exploration module allows users to build a concept map for their topic. The Libraries Catalog module is specific to Purdue, but everything else can be applied to any research project.

Information Literacy Tutorial (University of Wisconsin Parkside)
Follows an example assignment step by step through the entire research process. Module 1 provides a particularly good explanation of how to formulate a research statement/question. End-of-module quizzes are for UWP students only; click on the “Module Contents” link on the left side of the screen in order to start a new module.

Ask Us a Questions

MLA STUFF (LOOK THROUGH)

Handouts and Examples

Guidelines and examples to help you avoid plagiarism and correctly format your in-text citations and Works Cited page in MLA style.

Citing Sources and MLA Style (.pdf)

Research and Writing Tips (.pdf)

Sample Research Paper in MLA Format (.pdf; see p. 44  of document)

 

Research Source Forms

Use these forms to record information about the sources you use in your research. That way, you'll have everything you need to correctly cite them when you write your paper.

Book

Internet Source

Journal Article

Magazine/Newspaper Article

 

Books

The following MLA style guide can be found in the library's textbook collection.

Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers.
REFTEXT LB 2369 .G53 2009

 

Websites

Online style guides for off-campus reference.

Documenting Sources in MLA Style: 2009 Update

Scottsdale Community College MLA Citation Style Guide

The OWL at Purdue MLA 2009 Formatting and Style Guide

 

Videos

Diagnosis: Plagiarism (via Yavapai College)

 

Tutorials

Test your citation knowledge and practice your skills.

You Quote It, You Note It (Vaughan Memorial Library, Acadia University)