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Research: Getting Started: Library Resources

Helpful tools for beginning a research project. Useful for ENG 145 - English Composition and beyond.

Why research?

Research projects require you to purposefully take on a task, diligently work on it, and sharpen your deductive reasoning and communication (written and/or verbal) skills which will prove beneficial throughout your educational and professional careers. 

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Research Guide for Students 

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Research Process

One of the most important parts of research, is choosing the right topic.You will be spending time working on this project, so you want to select a topic that you are interested in.

One error that many students make, is beginning the research process without having their topic refined. They have chosen a topic that is too narrow or too general. You want to be careful not to define your topic too specifically, because you might not find enough material on your topic.

Start by looking at a few general sources that will provide you with background information and appropriate keywords that you can use in your topic area. These sources are a good place to start.

Once you know the background of your topic and have formed a specific thesis idea that you want to examine, you'll want to go to the Malone Library webpage to access the databases and journals you need!

Here are two other useful information resources:

NOTE...You can also find databases and links to other good resources by going to the Current Events page and Newspapers page. Look over the other Subject guides; they may also contain information that pertains to your topic. 

After locating and reading several articles, you will need to evaluate the resources that you have found.
Here are a few things to consider:

  • Purpose: Why was the article written? Is it to inform? Is it to persuade? Is their any apparent bias?
  • Author: Is the author an expert in the area?
  • Accuracy: Are the facts accurate in the article? Do they seem to agree with other information that you have located?
  • Timeliness: Is the information current? Does it need to be?
  • Coverage: Does the information present all aspects of the topic? Does the information cover the "history" of the topic?
  • Documentation: Does the author provide information about their resources? If based on research, does the research meet validity and reliability standards?

You may also find credible information by searching in a browser by using the following examples:

  • Search the term  poverty to find information about poverty from a government agency or website.
  • Search the term addiction to find information about addiction from a .org or a site that is a registered organization. Note that originally .org meant a non-profit had registered the domain name but this has not been enforced and is not necessarily the best or the only way to determine a site or organization’s credibility.

Citation Help

A Citation Style guide is available that includes the use of APA, MLA, Chicago Turabian and more. 

There is also a guide for just APA 6th edition.

The Owl At Purdue website has basic guidance in all major styles of citation.

Click on the image for access.


Wondering how to cite a book or article you found on your mobile device, well until the style manuals catch up with technology here's one solution  we recommend. For online and other electronic books follow the guidelines for print books with the addition of information regarding the format. Some readers provide location information that you can use instead of page numbers.

For  Example:

Instead of publisher information include the DOI if available or the source of the book download.

Davenport, B. (2007). Myth and fact [Kindle DX version]. Retrieved from 

Davenport, B. (2007). Myth and fact [Adobe Digital Editions Version].   

Guessing the page number
You can also use the "search inside" feature provided by Amazon but dealing with page numbers is currently not practical with these applications.

For in-text citations add whatever location information is available such as chapter or location (if stable).

(Davenport, 2007, Chapter 2:1, locations, 59-63).

(Wallis, 2005, Chapter 5, Section 3, para. 7).

Liaison Librarian

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Kristine Owens
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Malone University
Everett L. Cattell Library
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Subjects: Literature

Research and Journal Resources

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