Get one-on-one help with your paper from a member of the English Department!
LOCATION: Ellis 216 (current hours will be posted on the door)
1. How should a student begin the research process for a paper?
Assignments will vary from teacher to teacher, but it is never a bad idea to start in reference for an overview of the topic. Then the student should progress to the catalog to search for additional books and the online databases to search for articles. Librarians are happy to assist with any research needs.
2. What is the difference between searching an online database and searching on the Internet?
When searching online databases, students will find articles that can be considered as respected, verifiable research sources. Typically students will find articles from magazines, scholarly journals, and reference books in these databases and can be assured that the sources are appropriate for academic writing.
When searching the Internet, students may find good information, but extra steps are needed in verifying the validity/accuracy of such information. In addition, most Internet sources are typically not considered academic/scholarly and may be disallowed by many teachers. The library staff is happy to answer any questions about evaluating Internet sources.
3. What is an annotated bibliography?
An annotated bibliography is just like a standard bibliography with the addition of a summary of each source. Information on annotated bibliographies can be found by visiting “How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography” (courtesy of Cornell University Library).
Information on MLA style can be found by visiting “MLA Style,” (courtesy of Williams College Libraries).
4. How can a student avoid plagiarism?
Plagiarism is a serious offense and cannot be fully addressed in a short answer. Generally, you always give credit to ideas you are quoting or paraphrasing. For more specific information, ask your teacher, ask a librarian, or visit the very detailed plagiarism handout created by the Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL).