Sunday, February 24, 2008

Research Tutorials

Not sure where to start searching? What database to use? What keywords to search on? To help, we have gathered together an extensive and growing collection of multimedia and interactive tutorials covering every step of the research process from coming up with a topic or thesis, through locating information, and evaluating and citing those sources.

Examples include: A Six Step Approach to Research, Distinguishing Scholarly Journals from Popular Ones, Scholarly Guide to Google, How to Search using Boolean Operators (AND, OR, etc.), a flash-based interactive tutorial on searching Gale's Expanded Academic and InfoTrac databases, as well as Quick Start tutorials for ProQuest, Westlaw and many other databases from our collection.

All these and more can be accessed from the Help/Tutorials link on the right side of the library homepage, under the "Get Help" section.

Friday, February 15, 2008

President's Day Resources

Curious to know what President's Day is all about or learn a little about the history of our nation's Presidents? Here are some links to select resources in the library or out on the web about the U.S. Presidency:

Web Resources:
Library Resources:

Monday, February 11, 2008

Citations and Bibliographies

A vital component of any research paper or project is proper identification of the sources you've used to support your work. To do this you'll need to prepare a bibliography (a list of the works cited in your research document) within the guidelines of a particular format or style. The citations in your bibliography will contain information describing each resource (author, title, publisher, date, etc.) so that the reader can locate the original information you used. Citations should be included for any material you've referenced in your work: newspaper and journal articles, books, and even resources like web sites, interviews, and television shows.

There are several major citation styles for formatting citations and you may be asked by your mentor or instructor to use a specific one in your work. Common styles include the American Psychological Association (APA) style, Modern Languages Association (MLA) style, or Chicago Manual of Style and Turabian's Manual for Writers (Chicago/Turabian). You can see the basics of documenting sources as well as links for viewing the specific styles by going to the library home page and using the link on the right side under the "Get Help" section.

Proper documentation of sources is important not only to give credit to the original author of an idea, but to let your readers see that you have effectively covered the scope of your research topic. Not to mention that doing so is also an important part of your responsibilities at the college in maintaining academic integrity. To learn more about documentation and citation styles, visit the Empire State College Writing Resource Center.