Online Library Databases and eBooks
- If your search doesn't come up with any results, try broadening your search terms or using different words that mean the same thing.
- To find an exact phrase, put quotation marks around it when searching.
- Google Search Tricks
Cite Your Sources!
You have to give credit whenever you use someone else's ideas (even if you do not use their exact words). Most students plagiarize because they aren't sure how and when to cite someone else's work. When in doubt, CITE YOUR SOURCE!
Here are some resources to help you cite it right:
- Purdue OWL- This is the ultimate source for all types of citations. Everything you ever wanted to know about citing your sources (both inside your paper and on your References or Works Cited page) is here. It also tells you how to format your paper depending on which style you're using (APA, MLA, Chicago Style, etc.).
- CitationMachine - You put in a URL and it will create APA, MLA, Chicago Style, and other types of citations for free. You may have to fill in some of the blanks if the machine can't find certain pieces of information on its own. This site does not provide formatting help and isn't as reliable as Purdue OWL.
- MLA Style Guide - A great reference for citations and formatting in MLA Style. The "Works Cited" and "Formatting a Research Paper" sections are most helpful.
- At the very beginning of the research process, start a running reference list. Open a Google Doc and copy and paste the URL (or the title and author of the book) and Citation of every source you find along with a quick 4 or 5-word description of what the article or book is about. Don't worry about making it pretty, just save all the info so you can come back to it later. Even if you don't use all the sources in your final paper, it will save so much time and effort.
- All of the resources you find using the credible options at the top of this page have built-in tools to help with Citations later on. Take advantage of them!
- The great part of using an online database is that after you choose an article, click Citation Tools on the right side of the screen, and it will give you the citation for that article!
Formatting Your Paper
Formatting your paper correctly means setting your margins, centering certain items, double vs. single spacing, etc. It can even be as specific as what font and font size to use and whether or not to use all caps for certain words. Ask your teacher what the formatting expectations are for any given assignment. It can really make a difference.
- Use the formatting tools built into your document. Don't try to space words manually to line them up.
- Google Docs provides templates for reports in both APA and MLA styles. Simply open a new Google Doc, click on "File", then "New", then "From Template".
Remember use Purdue OWL- This is the ultimate source for all types of citations. Everything you ever wanted to know about citing your sources (both inside your paper and on your References or Works Cited page) is here. It also tells you how to format your paper depending on which style you're using (APA, MLA, Chicago Style, etc.).
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