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Research 101:

Welcome!

Click through for help with your research questions.

  • Read the assignment materials carefully

Review any materials (handouts, syllabus descriptions, notes from class) that help explain the assignment. 

Consider the length. This lets you know how in-depth your work should be. If it is short, for example, you will most likely have to do less research and not have to dig as deeply into your topic.

Consider the amount and type of sources. Often professors will specify how much research you need to do and what kind of research it should be. If you need at least seven scholarly sources, for example, you can assume you are doing a pretty in-depth research project.

Consider any topic suggestions. Sometimes professors will provide examples of good topics for the assignment. These are helpful to look over to get a good idea of what kinds of topics are appropriate for the assignment.

  • Reach out to your professor

If you cannot find some of the above details on your assignment or still don't understand them, talk to your professor. They are the person who created the assignment and will be able to give you the best idea of what they want to see in it.

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  • Consider the assignment requirements

Make sure you understand the parameters of your assignment and have read all the materials your professor has given you on it. What does your professor expect? What's the page length? How many sources do you need? What types of sources are they?

  • Consider course content that relates to your interests

Often your topic will relate to topics you have read or discussed in class. Read through your syllabus or look at your notes to see what stood out to you and which topics you would like to expand upon further. 

  • Consider the scope of your topic (i.e. too broad or too narrow)

If your topic is too broad, you will find too many sources and have trouble focusing your project. If your topic is too narrow, you will find too few sources and have trouble creating enough material to fit your project assignment. By finding a middle ground, it will be easier to find sources and create enough focused content for your project. 

For example, researching reproductive health is probably too broad, but studying reproductive health in Kathmandu, Nepal in 2015 is probably too narrow. A good middle ground might be reproductive health in 21st century South Asia.

  • Consider who can help you

If you're still struggling to find a topic, you can come to the research and instruction librarians. Help is always available at the research help desk or by setting up a research appointment with a librarian (contact information on the right).

You can also reach out to your professors. They understand the assignment best and can point you to appropriate topics for the assignment. Your class might also have a peer learning associate (PLA) who would be a good resource for choosing a topic. 

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  • Think of ways to break down your broader topic (use a concept map)

If you do not have a focused enough topic yet, break down the topic that you have into the different pieces that make it up: the different people who are involved, the different disciplines it falls under, the different angles from which you could approach the topic, etc. ​

Drawing a concept map can be really helpful for focusing your topic. It lets you see the different parts of your topic at once and determine which parts interest you the most for your assignment.

For instructions on how to make and use a concept map, view the video below:

 

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  • Search encyclopedias (online and print)

Encyclopedias are often the best resources for finding background information. They provide brief, broad overviews of a topic and can provide you with potential sources for your assignment. Check the bibliographies of encyclopedia articles to find in-depth sources on your topic.

See our encyclopedia research guide for all the resources you can search through.

For online encyclopedias, Gale Virtual Reference Library and Oxford Reference are the most comprehensive options. You can search your topic and the results will link you to individual entries in different encyclopedias that will help you gain background information on your topic.

For print sources, you can use the search box on the right side of the above research guide or use the advanced search option in MUSCAT and limit to the reference collection. All reference books are located on the first floor and cannot be checked out of the library--they are for in-library use only. However, you can use the scanners on the main and ground floors to email yourself  the pages you need.  

  • Search online (Google, Wikipedia, etc.)

​While starting your research with Internet searches is not usually advisable for your major research, it can be helpful when doing background research. You have to be cautious of the information that you find, however, as anyone can post information online without having to cite their sources.

Wikipedia is a great example. This can be a good resource for learning about your topic and starting your research, but anyone can edit articles on Wikipedia. Wikipedia can be helpful for finding potential sources. The references section at the end of each article will often lead you to sources that you can cite for your paper if they are relevant to your topic.

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  • Step back and re-examine your topic

​It can be hard to find information if you start with a topic that is too narrow or obscure. It is best to start your research with broader searches that give you an idea of what sources are out there for your general topic before moving too far into specifics. You may need to change your topic, or at least the way that you're looking at your topic, in order to get enough information.

  • Think about where you are searching

​It is not always advisable to search for in-depth, scholarly sources right away. If you go straight to article databases with little understanding of what is out there on your general topic, it might be hard to find relevant sources. Encylopedias, which we have both in print and online at Musselman, are great for getting background information on a topic. Books are a good source too, as they often cover a larger range of topics than articles.

  • Look for outside help (librarians, professors)

If you are still having trouble with finding information for a topic, reach out to librarians at the research help desk (hours on the right), or contact your professor. They have a good understanding of what can be found on certain topics and which topics are feasible.

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  • Consider what source types are relevant to your project

Check your course assignment to see if your professor specifies what type of sources you need (ex: books, scholarly articles, primary sources).

If there are no specifications on source types, consider what subject area you are doing your research in. The subjects guides are a good resource for this, as they will provide almost all of the library resources that are relevant to each subject area. For example, books are more relevant for certain disciplines (ex: History, English), while other disciplines use almost exclusively articles (ex: the sciences).

For books:

  • Search MUSCAT for books you can immediately retrieve

MUSCAT is the online catalog for all of the books located in Musselman Library. Search for your books, record their call numbers, and retrieve them in the library's book collection.​  They could be print books or ebooks.

  • Search WorldCat for books you must request and wait to be delivered

WorldCat is an online catalog for books located in libraries all over the world. You search for your books just as you would in MUSCAT, but you must request to bororw the books from another library through interlibrary loan (ILL), which will take 2-6 days for the books to arrive here. 

For articles:

  • Start with the library's Subject Research Guides

For every course subject at Gettysburg, there are research guides with resources and tips for doing research in those disciplines. They are always a good place to start when doing research, and the links they provide to different databases are often going to be the most useful for your research. If you attended a library session for your class, a librarian has also created a tab on the subject guide for your class that will include resources specifically tailored to your assignments.

  • Use OneSearch to search many databases at once

OneSearch is a database that contains many of the databases Mussleman Library subscribes to, as well as our own catalog, MUSCAT. OneSearch is an effective tool for seeing almost all of the resources available in the library on your topic, and it is especially good to use when you have a subject that spans several disciplines. For example, if you're doing research for an education class, materials from a psychology database may be just as relevant.

OneSearch has its drawbacks, however. It often yields more results than you need because of the large number of databases it searches, and this can be difficult to sift through. You need to use effective keywords, use boolean operators, and know how to use the restrictions found on the side of many databases. For more information on these search strategies, see the "I want search tips" section above.

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  • Use effective keywords

Often you have to try out different keywords before you get the right results. Brainstorm a lot of potential search terms by using synonyms and thinking about different ways to frame your topic.

A good strategy is to start broad and use fewer keywords, then narrow your search and add on more keywords as you have a better idea of what is out there on your topic.

Ex: Your topic is health in World War II concentration camps. You can start more broadly looking at "health" AND "World War II" to understand the general health care climate at the time. Then add the concentration camp piece.

There are also several ways to frame health. You could use a synonym like well-being or you could think of different terms that are associated with health like diet, medicine and living conditions

  • Use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT, " ", *)

Boolean operators refine your search results to make them more relevant to what you want.

AND: both of your keywords must be in every entry​
          ex: homelessness AND women
OR: at least one of your keywords must be in every entry
          ex: global warming OR climate change
NOT: a keyword must not be in any of the entries
          ex: Mexico NOT New Mexico 
" ": searches for a phrase in the exact order you type it
          ex: "United Nations" together in that order not united and nations separately

*: used in place of a letter to search for multiple variations of a word
          ex: wom*n for woman and women or Mexic* for Mexico, Mexican and Mexicans

  • For books: use subject headings to get similar books to ones you find

The "Subjects" section is found on book entries in MUSCAT, our catalog, and WorldCat, a catalog for libraries all over the world.

When you click on a subject, you will see all the books categorized with that tag on their entries. This lets you find books that are related to your topic but might not use your exact search terms.

Ex: You search literature AND "civil war" to find a book you want. That book is categorized under the subject: United States--Civil War, 1861-1865--African Americans. Clicking on this subject tag will let you see all the books in this category, some of which may not come up when using literature as a search term. 

  • For articles: use the search limiters on the side of your results

Once you put in your keywords and are given a results list, most databases have search limiters on the side of the results that let you refine your results and get closer to what you want.

  • The subjects restriction gives you subject terms that your different results are categorized by, such as "health" or "globalization" or that you can checkmark so that only articles with those subjects appear on your results list.
  • The date range restriction gives you the ability to limit your search to a certain date range. If you want the most recent work done on a topic, or you're looking for works written in a specific time period, you can change the date range and only articles written in that time period will appear.
  • Some databases will give you a source type restriction, which is especially helpful for databases like OneSearch that offer not only academic articles but newspaper articles, books, audio recordings, etc. When searching for articles, you normally want to pull from academic journals, but other articles from newspapers or magazines may be relevant given your class and topic.
  • There is a peer reviewed restriction for some databases that only yields results that are categorized as peer reviewed. This can be helpful when looking for only these articles, but note that it does not guarantee that every article will be peer reviewed. The restriction is based on the journals that the articles are found in, and if over 50% of the articles in the journal are peer reviewed, every article gets the peer reviewed tag. For information on how to identify peer reviewed articles, look at the section "I don't know if an article is scholarly or peer reviewed" below.
  • There is also a full-text restriction on some databases that will only yield articles that will link you directly to HTML or a PDF of the article directly from the database. If your assignment is due very soon and you need sources right away, this can be a good option. You can get the full text in other ways, however. When the database does not provide the full text, the Gett It button will appear, which will either link you to the full text right away through a different database or prompt you to request the article through interlibrary loan. You can get the full text of most articles that appear in your search results, but you may have to wait a few days if the full text needs to be requested.

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  • Consider what source types are relevant to your project

​Read the assignment guidelines. Does your professor specify what source types or how many of them you need? Does your professor want scholarly/peer-reviewed articles? Primary sources? Empirical studies?

Consider the subject area. Book sources are most relevant for certain disciplines, like English and History, while for the sciences, often you will use articles only. Our research subject guides are always a helpful resource for understanding what source types are relevant for your subject area.   

For books:

  • Search MUSCAT for books you can immediately retrieve

​MUSCAT is the online catalog for all of the books held at Musselman Library. If you search by keyword, you can find books relevant to your topic and locate them in our library shelves using the call number. Some books may be ebooks, which you can access with the link in the MUSCAT record.

  • Search WorldCat for books you must request and wait to be delivered

​WorldCat is an online catalog for libraries all over the world. When you cannot find books that you want in our library, you can search for your topic in WorldCat. If we actually have the book in our library, WorldCat will link you to the MUSCAT entry. If we don't, you can click the Gett It button and request the book through interlibrary loan. Since the physical book needs to be sent to our library, it generally takes 2-6 days for the book to arrive.

For articles:

  • Start with the library's Subject Research Guides

For every course subject at Gettysburg, there are research guides with resources and tips for doing research in those disciplines. They are always a good place to start when doing research, and the links they provide to different databases are often going to be the most useful for your research. If you attended a library session for your class, a librarian has also created a tab on the subject guide for your class that will include resources specifically tailored to your assignments.

  • Use OneSearch to search many databases at once

​OneSearch is a database that contains many of the databases Musselman Library subscribes to, as well as our own catalog MUSCAT. OneSearch is an effective tool for seeing almost all of the resources available in the library on your topic, and it is especially good to use when you have a subject that spans several disciplines. For example, if you're doing research for an education class, materials from a psychology database may be just as relevant.

OneSearch has its drawbacks, however. It often yields more results than you need because of the large number of databases it searches, and this can be difficult to sift through. You need to use effective keywords, use boolean operators and know how to use the limiters found on the side of many databases. For more information on these search strategies, see the "I want search tips" section above.

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  • Too many search results

​​Rethink your keywords. When you yield too many results, often this means that your search terms are too broad. In order to narrow your search results, you may want to refocus your keywords to be more specific to your topic (ex. health care instead of health, India instead of South Asia). You can also add on more keywords to make sure all the pieces of your topic are present. Lastly, make sure you are using the appropriate boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT, etc.) to connect keywords.

Use limiters. On the side of most of our article databases, there are restrictions that let you refine your results list after you have entered your keywords. You can minimize your results list by choosing specific subject terms, date ranges, source types, etc.

In our book databases, MUSCAT and WorldCat, there are subject categories on each book's individual entry page. Clicking on one of these subjects will let you see all of the books categorized with this tag. 

Consider where you are searching. Certain article databases, like OneSearch or Academic Search Premier, span across multiple disciplines and will often yield more results than databases focused on one subject area. If your topic is relevant to another discipline, but you need sources from only your class's subject area, you could end up with a lot of unnecessary results. 

  • Too little search results

Rethink your keywords. If you are getting few results, your search terms may be too specific. Broaden your keywords to try to yield more results that are still relevant to your topic (ex:  Middle East instead of Egypt, or politics instead of elections). You may find items that still address the specifics of your topic but cannot be found with your exact keywords.

Try out many different keywords as well. Sometimes authors have very specific terms that they use that then will not show up in your results. Think of synonyms to your keywords or different ways in which you could frame your topic (ex: women's rights instead of feminism, pluralism instead of democracy). 

Consider where you are searching. Article databases are often very subject-specific, so make sure you are aware of what database you are searching in and what subject area is its focus. View our subject guides for assistance. 

If you are searching within your subject area and still cannot find enough sources, a good suggestion would be to try databases like Academic Search Premier or OneSearch, which search across multiple disciplines.

Rethink your topic. Your topic itself may be too narrow for you to adequately complete your assignment. You may need to broaden your ideas by thinking of a larger category your topic falls under (ex. economy instead of job market) or expanding the geographic location (South America instead of Chile). 

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View our statistics research guide for resources that provide statistical information for fields as diverse as political science, economics, environmental science, and women gender and sexuality studies.

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  • Language subject guides

​Most language departments have subject guides that will point you to the best resources for finding items in that language.

  • Language restrictions on article databases

​Some databases, like OneSearch, have an option to limit all of your search results to a certain language. You can do this in the advanced search option or find the language section on the left side of the search results page once you've submitted your search.

  • Language restrictions on book searches in MUSCAT

If you are looking for books in another language, use MUSCAT's advanced search option to limit to a certain language.

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  • Figure out the source type

​Before you search for the source, you need to know what you're looking for. Here are the citation structures for common source types.

Book: Author. Title of book. Publishing information.

Book chapter: Author. "Title of article." Title of book. Editor (if a compiled work). Publishing information. Page numbers.

Journal article: Author. "Title of article." Title of journal. Volume and issue number. Page numbers.

  • Know where to search

Once you have a good idea of your source type, you have to choose the right place to search for it.

Books: Search MUSCAT, our library catalog. If you can't find it, search WorldCat, a catalog for libraries around the world, and request the book through interlibrary loan (ILL).

Articles: Search OneSearch or use the Journal Locator. OneSearch is connected to many of our article databases (some are not included, though, so it is not fully comprehensive). By searching with the information you have, you try to find its entry in OneSearch and either retrieve the full text or request the item using the GettIt button.

The journal locator is a tool that compiles all of the journals the library subscribes to. By searching the journal title, you can find out if we have access to that journal. Be aware of the date ranges on entries and use the information from your citation (volume/issue number, page numbers) to find your exact article.

  • Request the item manually through ILL

if you cannot find the source in the appropriate library databases, use the information you have from your citation to request the item manually through ILL. ​Log in and request the item by source type. Fill in all of the information you can, but note that some fields are required to process the request.  

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  • Cross-reference your sources

​You can often find relevant sources by scanning the reference list of an article you have already found. Scholars often cite other scholars who have done work in that field on the same subject. Find books or articles in the reference list that look relevant to your project and search them using library resources or request them through ILL. 

You can also find who has cited the work you have found by searching the item in Google Scholar. There will be a 'Cited by' button that tells you how many times this item has been used in other works. If you click on this, it will show you these works.

Make sure that you have your Google Scholar set up to the Musselman Library system. This will make retrieving the article easier by providing the full text or the Gett It button on the right hand side. To do this follow these steps:

  • Go to Preferences
  • Go to Library Links
  • Search Gettysburg College
     
  • For books: use subject headings on individual entry pages

The "Subjects" section is found on book entries in MUSCAT, our catalog, and WorldCat, a catalog for libraries all over the world.

When you click on a subject, you will see all the books categorized with that tag on their entries. This lets you find books that are related to your topic but might not use your exact search terms.

Ex: You search literature AND "civil war" to find a book you want. That book is categorized under the subject: United States--Civil War, 1861-1865--African Americans. Clicking on this subject tag will let you see all the books in this category, some of which may not come up when using literature as a search term. 

  • For articles: use the subject restrictions on the side of your search results/on individual entries

Once you have put in your keywords and are given a results list, most databases have search limiters on the side of the results that let you refine your results and get closer to what you want.

The subjects restriction gives you subject terms that your different results are categorized by, such as "health" or "globalization" or that you can checkmark so that only articles with those subjects appear on your results list.

These subjects also appear on individual entries, but if you click on these subject terms, it searches the entire database for any item categorized with this subject, whereas choosing subjects from the side of your results list searches for these subjects within the keywords you have chosen.

 

 

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  • Search our catalog using MUSCAT 

MUSCAT is our online library catalog that holds every item that we have in the library. Enter the information you have in the search box with the appropriate restriction on the side (title, author, ISBN, etc.)

Once you have found the book you want, record its call number. Call numbers are a series of letters and numbers read from left to right starting with the initial letter or letters.

  • Locate the book in our stacks

There are signs at the circulation desk and on the door to each floor that tell you where you can find your call number. For more detailed information on finding books in our library, view the video below.

  • Search WorldCat if you cannot find your book in MUSCAT

Sometimes you will need a book that you cannot find in MUSCAT, meaning that we do not own the book in our library. You can search for the book in WorldCat, a catalog that holds items from libraries all over the world, and request the book to be sent here. For more information on this, read the section "I can't find books I want in MUSCAT" below.

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  • Search by keyword in MUSCAT

MUSCAT is our online library catalog that holds every item that we have in the library. Start with a simple search using keywords relevant to your topic. For example, if you're writing a paper on race relations during the American civil war, you might use "race" AND "civil war."

If your keywords aren't getting you results you want, try learning more about search strategies in the section "I need search tips for books."

  • Use subject headings to get similar books to ones you find

The "Subjects" section is found on book entries in MUSCAT. When you click on a subject, you will see all the books categorized with that tag on their entries. This lets you find books that are related to your topic that you may not have found with just keyword searches.

Ex: You search literature AND "civil war" to find a book you want. That book is categorized under the subject: United States--Civil War, 1861-1865--Literature and the war. Clicking on this subject tag in MUSCAT will let you see all the books in this category, some of which may not come up when using literature as a search term. 

  • Search WorldCat if you cannot find your book in MUSCAT

Sometimes you will need a book that you cannot find in MUSCAT, meaning that we do not own the book in our library. You can search for the book in WorldCat, a catalog that holds items from libraries all over the world, and request the book to be sent here. For more information on this, read the section "I can't find books I want in MUSCAT."

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  • Use effective keywords

Often you have to try out different keywords before you get the right results. Brainstorm a lot of potential search terms by using synonyms and thinking about different ways to frame your topic.

A good strategy is to start broad and use fewer keywords, then narrow your search and add on more keywords as you have a better idea of what is out there on your topic.

Ex: Your topic is health in World War II concentration camps. You can start more broadly looking at "health" AND "World War II" to understand the general health care climate at the time. Then add the concentration camp piece.

There are also several ways to frame health. You could use a synonym like well-being or you could think of different terms that are associated with health like diet, medicine and living conditions

  • Use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT, " ", *)

Boolean operators refine your search results to make them more relevant to what you want.

AND: both of your keywords must be in every entry​
          ex: homelessness AND women
OR: at least one of your keywords must be in every entry
          ex: global warming OR climate change
NOT: a keyword must not be in any of the entries
          ex: Mexico NOT New Mexico 
" ": searches for a phrase in the exact order you type it
          ex: "United Nations" together in that order not united and nations separately

*: used in place of a letter to search for multiple variations of a word
          ex: wom*n for woman and women or Mexic* for Mexico, Mexican and Mexicans

  • Use subject headings to get similar books to ones you find

The "Subjects" section is found on book entries in MUSCAT, our catalog, and WorldCat, a catalog for libraries all over the world.

When you click on a subject, you will see all the books categorized with that tag on their entries. This lets you find books that are related to your topic but might not use your exact search terms.

Ex: You search literature AND "civil war" to find a book you want. That book is categorized under the subject: United States--Civil War, 1861-1865--Literature and the war. Clicking on this subject tag will let you see all the books in this category, some of which may not come up when using literature as a search term. 

 

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  • Search our library catalog MUSCAT

 

Musselman Library carries many reference books, all found on our main floor. To search only for these books, go to the Advanced Search option in MUSCAT and click the “Reference Collection” limit under the search bars.

 

Once you have found the right book, record its call number and look for the book in the Reference Collection on the main floor.

 

Note that reference books cannot be taken out of the library. They are for in-library use only.

 
  • Search online encyclopedias

 

In addition to print resources, Musselman Library subscribes to many online encyclopedias  and dictionaries that can be accessed anywhere at any time. For more information on how to find these resources, see our Encyclopedias & Dictionaries guide.

 

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  • Textbooks in the Musselman Library collection

 

Generally, Musselman Library does not buy course textbooks.

 

We may still have your course materials in our collection, however. Search our online catalog MUSCAT to see what is in our collection. While we don’t usually have traditional textbooks, we likely have required readings for your class like novels or scholarly books.

 

Be mindful, however, of restrictions on borrowing length and the potential needs of other classmates.  

 
  • Check the course reserves for your class

 

Sometimes professors put a copy of the course textbook on reserve behind our circulation desk. Search through our Course Reserves on MUSCAT by either professor name (ex. Birkner) or course number (ex. HIST 300).  Professors sometimes link readings electronically through the course Moodle page.

 
  • Consider alternatives to buying your textbook

 

If you are concerned about the price of your textbook, please speak with your professor about alternatives.  Ask if an earlier edition of the textbook would be sufficient (used copies of earlier editions will be much less expensive than new copies of the current edition).  Consider sharing a book with a classmate.  Renting textbooks is more affordable than buying them.  There are options to explore.

 

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Some primary source materials can be found by searching MUSCAT , the library catalog, using a keyword or subject search. Additional primary sources may be found in Gettysburg College's Special Collections.

  • First try a KEYWORD search which searches all words in the titles, authors, subjects, and notes of MUSCAT records. You can enter words in any order. This is the broadest, safest search. Take note of Subject Headings on promising titles.
  • Next try a SUBJECT search with the subject headings from the keyword search. This searches only the subject fields of MUSCAT records, and word order matters. Ask a librarian if you need help identifying the best subject heading(s) for your topic.
  • Finally try an AUTHOR search to find original writings of a person or documents published by a government or organization (these are called "corporate authors").

    Examine the subject headings carefully. The following subheadings will help you identify books and microfilm that contain primary sources:

    --diaries

    --sermons

    --posters

    --correspondence

    --early works to 1800

    --pictorial works

    --case studies

    --photographs

    --caricatures and cartoons

    --sources

    --anecdotes

    --personal narratives

    --documents

    --underground literature

    --interviews

Ex: United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Personal narratives 

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  • Search WorldCat​

If you can't find the books you want in MUSCAT, the next step is to search in WorldCat. While MUSCAT searches only our own library catalog, WorldCat searches libraries all over the world for you to borrow.

You search in WorldCat the same way you do in MUSCAT, but the format looks different. You put your search into the main search bars at the top, and then if you are only looking for books, make sure you check the Books option on the list "Limit type to."

In your search results, you'll notice that some entries have a green "GETTYSBURG COLLEGE" symbol under them. This means that the book is located in our library, and you can click through to find its entry in MUSCAT.

  • ​Request books from other libraries

If an entry does not have that symbol, that means that we have to borrow the book from another library. To do this, click through to the individual entry page and click either the "Gett It" or "Retrieve Item" links to process the request through Interlibrary loan.

If you haven't used Interlibrary loan before, it will prompt you to create an account. Then it will take you to your request form. Check all of the information and submit the request. Generally, requests take 2-6 days for you to receive the book, so make sure you give yourself enough time before your assignment is due.  

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  • Search using MUSCAT's advanced search option

​Go to the advanced search option in MUSCAT and in the 'Material Type' limiter, choose ebooks. When you search, only ebooks will appear in your results list.

To access an ebook, click on the book's individual entry page and hit the 'This ebook' link above the call number information. This will take you to the full text of the books through one of our two ebook databases: ebrary and EBSCO. 

  • Search OverDrive for popular books (generally pleasure reading)

OverDrive houses contemporary popular books and novels for you to read at your leisure. 

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  • Downloading an ebrary ebook

1. Download Adobe Digital Editions to your computer.

2. Create your personal ebrary account and sign in

Ebrary Download3. Find the book in ebrary that you would like to download, and click on the Download button on the top menu. 

4. Choose the option to download the entire document.

5. If you haven't already logged in to Adobe Digital Editions, or ebrary, do so when prompted.

The ebrary Support Center offers more details about downloading ebrary books.

Note: There is a 14 of 7 day checkout period for most ebrary books.  There are some books that may not be downloaded in full.  In those cases, you may print or save a selection (usually about 60 pages), or view/read the books online.

  • Downloading an EBSCO ebook

This process is very similar to the process for downloading an ebook from ebrary.  

1. Download Adobe Digital Editions to your computer.

2. Create your personal EBSCO account and sign in. You can access both of these items by clicking on "Sign In" within the EBSCO interface.

3. Find the book in EBSCO that you would like to download and click on the "Download this eBook (Offline)" link.

4. Select your checkout period (often limited to 7 days), and click "Checkout & Download."

5. Open the downloaded file with Adobe Digital Editions.

EBSCO has a helpful eBook Support Center, which provides several guides and online tutorials about using their ebooks.

Note: There is a 7 day checkout period for most EBSCO ebooks.  There are some books that may not be downloaded in full.  In those cases, you may print or save a selection (usually about 60 pages), or view/read the books online.

  • Printing ebooks

You are able to print excerpts of ebooks from our databases. The publisher to each individual ebook, however, has control over the limit to how many pages you can print. You need to check this limit before you try to print any ebook.

 

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  • What is Knouse off-site storage?

​Knouse is a storage site where the library holds items it does not have room for in the main building. There are journals, books, and films there that are available for student research. To be used, they need to be requested so that a librarian can either scan or retrieve the item for the student.

  • Requesting a book from Knouse

​​When you see that a book's location is in Knouse on its MUSCAT entry, click the "Request" button at the top of the page next to the red checkmark. It will then prompt you for your username and password to submit the request. 

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  • Look at the author

Generally, the authors of scholarly books are going to hold PhDs in their field or are experts in an area of study, and they are often affiliated with a particular university. Look at the author information in the book and see if they seem reputable. You can also search the author online and see if they have a significant Internet presence and find some of the other works they have published.

  • Consider the publisher 

Generally, the publishers of scholarly books come from prestigious publishers, such as Oxford University Press or University of Chicago Press. If the publisher's name does not stick out to you, you can always search online and see what kind of reputation the company has and what kinds of books they publish.

  • Look at the book's references

​Most scholarly books will include a list of references at the end of works cited within the book. Normally, scholarly books will have a considerable number of references to other scholarly works.

  • Look at who has cited the book

If other scholars are citing the book, that is indication that the book is probably scholarly. If many scholars are citing it, it is most likely an important book in its field.

To see who has cited a book, search the book title in Google Scholar. In the entry to the book, it will give a rough estimate of how many published authors have cited the book. The number is obviously not exact, as not every book or article is going to be picked up by this system, but it does provide a good idea of a book's significance in academia. Also be mindful of the date of publication. If a book came out in the last year or two, there has not been much time for other scholars to respond to the work yet.  

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  • Print reserves (behind the circulation desk)

To search for print reserves, click the Course Reserves link on the library homepage. From there, click the MUSCAT link.

You can search either by the name of your professor (ex. Sobelle or Sobelle, Stephanie) or course number (ex. ENG 350). Once you've found the correct item, record the call number. Show the full call number to the worker at the circulation desk, as this is the only way they will be able to find the item.

  • Electronic reserves (Moodle)

Sometimes, when your professor mentions reserved materials for your class, they are talking about electronic sources. These are found on your class's individual Moodle page.

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You may use this online form to suggest the purchase of a book, film, or other one-time purchase.

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  • Search for the article using the information you have

​If you know the exact article you want, there are a couple ways to search for it.

One way is using the Journal Locator, which will search by journal title, not article title, so you need to know in which journal your article was published. This searches all the journals Musselman Library subscribes to for specific date ranges. Once you have found the journal you want, click on the date range that includes the year your article was published. You then need to find the exact issue your article is in and locate it within the issue. This will link you to the full text. 

Another way is to search our library databases for the article using the title, author or any other information you have. OneSearch is the most comprehensive option, as this pulls together many of the databases we subscribe to, as well as our own catalog MUSCAT. There are some databases that are not included in OneSearch, however. If the article shows up in your search, you will either be able to retrieve the full text or request it using the Gett It button through interlibrary loan (ILL).

  • Request the article through interlibrary loan using the information you have

If you cannot find the article through the means above, you can still access your article, but you have to manually request the item in ILL rather than using the Gett It button. First log into ILL. Under 'New Request' on the left sidebar, click article. Include as much information as you can. Some pieces of information are required.

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  • Start with the library's Subject Research Guides

For every course subject at Gettysburg, there are research guides with resources and tips for doing research in those disciplines. They are always a good place to start when doing research, and the links they provide to different databases are often going to be the most useful for your research. If you attended a library session for your class, a librarian has also created a tab on the subject guide for your class that will include resources specifically tailored to your assignments.

  • Use OneSearch to search many databases at once

OneSearch is a database that contains many of the databases Musselman Library subscribes to, as well as our own catalog MUSCAT. OneSearch is an effective tool for seeing almost all of the resources available in the library on your topic, and it is especially good to use when you have a subject that spans several disciplines. For example, if you're doing research for an education class, materials from a psychology database may be just as relevant.

OneSearch has its drawbacks, however. It often yields more results than you need because of the large number of databases it searches, and this can be difficult to sift through. You need to use effective keywords, use Boolean operators and know how to use the restrictions found on the side of many databases. For more information on these search strategies, see the "I want search tips for articles" section below.

 

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  • Use effective keywords

Often you have to try out different keywords before you get the right results. Brainstorm a lot of potential search terms by using synonyms and thinking about different ways to frame your topic.

A good strategy is to start broad and use fewer keywords, then narrow your search and add on more keywords as you have a better idea of what is out their on your topic.

Ex: Your topic is health in World War II concentration camps. You can start more broadly looking at "health" AND "World War II" to understand the general health care climate at the time. Then add the concentration camp piece.

There are also several ways to frame health. You could use a synonym like well-being or you could think of different terms that are associated with health like diet, medicine and living conditions

  • Use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT, " ", *)

Boolean operators refine your search results to make them more relevant to what you want.

AND: both of your keywords must be in every entry​
          ex: homelessness AND women
OR: at least one of your keywords must be in every entry
          ex: global warming OR climate change
NOT: a keyword must not be in any of the entries
          ex: Mexico NOT New Mexico 
" ": searches for a phrase in the exact order you type it
          ex: "United Nations" together in that order not united and nations separately

*: used in place of a letter to search for multiple variations of a word
          ex: wom*n for woman and women or Mexic* for Mexico, Mexican and Mexicans

  • Use the restrictions on the side of your search results

Once you have put in your keywords and are given a results list, most databases have restrictions on the side of the results that let you refine your results and get closer to what you want.

The subjects restriction gives you subject terms that your different results are categorized by, such as "health" or "globalization" or that you can checkmark so that only articles with those subjects appear on your results list.

The date range restriction gives you the ability to limit your search to a certain date range. If you want the most recent work done on a topic, or you're looking for works written in a specific time period, you can change the date range and only articles written in that time period will appear.

Some databases will give you a source type restriction, which is especially helpful for databases like OneSearch that offer not only academic articles but newspaper articles, books, audio recordings, etc. When searching for articles, you normally want to pull from academic journals, but other articles from newspapers or magazines may be relevant given your class and topic.

There is a peer reviewed restriction for some databases that only yields results that are categorized as peer reviewed. This can be helpful when looking for only these articles, but note that it does not guarantee that every article will be peer reviewed. The restriction is based on the journals that the articles are found in, and if over 50% of the articles in the journal are peer reviewed, every article gets the peer reviewed tag. For information on how to identify peer reviewed articles, look at the section "I don't know if an article is scholarly or peer reviewed" below.

There is also a full-text restriction on some databases that will only yield articles that will link you directly to HTML or a PDF of the article directly from the database. If your assignment is due very soon and you need sources right away, this can be a good option. You can get the full text in other ways, however. When the database does not provide the full text, the Gett It button will appear, which will either link you to the full text right away through a different database or prompt you to request the article through interlibrary loan. You can get the full text of any article that appears in your search results, but you may have to wait a few days if the full text needs to be borrowed from another library.

 

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  • Too many search results

​​Rethink your keywords. When you yield too many results, often this means that your search terms are too broad. In order to narrow your search results, you may want to refocus your keywords to be more specific to your topic (ex. health care instead of health, India instead of South Asia). You can also add on more keywords to make sure all the pieces of your topic are present. Lastly, make sure you are using the appropriate Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT, etc.) to connect keywords.

Use restrictions. On the side of most of our article databases, there are restrictions that let you refine your results list after you have entered your keywords. You can minimize your results list by choosing specific subject terms, date ranges, source types, etc. 

Consider where you are searching. Certain databases, like OneSearch or Academic Search Premier, span across multiple disciplines and will often yield more results than databases focused on one subject area. If your topic is relevant to another discipline but you need sources from only your class's subject area, you could end up with a lot of unnecessary results. 

  • Too few search results

Rethink your keywords. If you are getting few results, your search terms may be too specific. Broaden your keywords to try to yield more results that are still relevant to your topic (ex:  Middle East instead of Egypt, politics instead of elections). You may find items that still address the specifics of your topic but cannot be found with your narrow keywords.

Try out many different keywords as well. Sometimes authors have very specific terms that they use that then will not show up in your results. Think of synonyms to your keywords or different ways in which you could frame your topic (ex: women's rights instead of feminism, pluralism instead of democracy). 

Consider where you are searching. Article databases are often very subject-specific, so make sure you are aware of what database you are searching in and what subject area is its focus. View our subject guides for assistance. 

If you are searching within your subject area and still cannot find enough sources, a good suggestion would be to try databases like Academic Search Premier or OneSearch, which search across multiple disciplines.

Rethink your topic. Your topic itself may be too narrow for you to adequately complete your assignment. You may need to broaden your ideas by thinking of a larger category your topic falls under (ex. economy instead of job market) or expanding the geographic location (South America instead of Chile). 

 

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  • Use restrictions in the article database

There is a peer reviewed restriction for some article databases that only yields results that are categorized as peer reviewed. This can be helpful when looking for only these articles, but note that it does not guarantee that every article will be peer reviewed. The restriction is based on the journals that the articles are found in, and if over 50% of the articles in the journal are peer reviewed, every article gets the peer reviewed tag. 

  • ​Look at the article for signs of peer review

​The peer review process means that other scholars have read and approved of an article before its publication. The peer review process essentially cements an article's status as an accepted scholarly work.

One of the clearest signs of the peer review process is if an article has an accepted date that is separate from its written date, which signifies that the article had to be reviewed after it was written in order to be accepted in the journal.

​Not all peer-reviewed articles will give an accepted date, however. You have to look at the article itself to determine whether it is a scholarly work or not.

  • Look at the author. Scholarly articles are normally written by people with PhDs who are affiliated with a specific university. If you cannot find this out from the article itself, search the author online to see if they have these credentials.
  • Consider the length. If your article is fewer than 5 pages, chances are that this is not a scholarly article. A scholarly article represents a significant amount of work done by the author, and they will normally be around 10 pages or longer depending on the subject area.
  • Look at the references. Almost all scholarly articles cite other academics in their field. Most scholarly articles will have an extensive reference list at the end of the article or in the footnotes that show the author engaging in a dialogue with other scholars.
  • Research the journal. You can search the journal title online, and you can not only see if the journal looks reputable and academic, but most journals' websites will provide information on the publishing process, which may include information on peer review.

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  • The meaning of peer review

When an article is peer reviewed, this means that the scholar who wrote the article had to let other scholars in the field (peers) read and judge the work before it could be published. They ensure that the author's argument is sound and that the work contributes to the progress of its field. When a professor says that they want you to use peer reviewed articles, they want to ensure that you are citing scholarly works written by academics. 

  • Look at the article for signs of peer review

One of the clearest signs of the peer review process is if an article has an accepted date that is separate from its written date, which signifies that the article had to be reviewed after it was written in order to be accepted in the journal.

​Not all peer-reviewed articles will give an accepted date, however. You often have to look at the article itself to determine whether it is a scholarly work or not.

  • Look at the author. Scholarly articles are normally written by people with PhDs who are affiliated with a specific university. If you cannot find this in the article itself, search the author online to see if they have these credentials.
  • Consider the length. If your article is fewer than 5 pages, chances are that this is not a scholarly article. A scholarly article represents a significant amount of work done by the author, and they will normally be 10 pages or longer depending on the subject area.
  • Look at the references. Almost all scholarly articles cite other academics in their field. Most scholarly articles will have an extensive reference list at the end of the article or in the footnotes that show the author engaging in a dialogue with other scholars.
  • Research the journal. You can search the journal title online, where you can not only see if the journal looks reputable and academic, but most journals' websites will provide information on the publishing process, which may include information on peer review.

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If you are looking for newspaper articles, view our library guide. It offers all of the news sources and databases, both current and historical, that the library subscribes to.  

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  • Use our library guide for primary sources

View this guide for databases we subscribe to that include primary source materials.

  • Advice on searching for primary sources

When looking for primary sources, it is helpful to think of them in 4 categories:

  • Published works includes materials such as books, textbooks, and pamphlets published during the time period being studied.
  • Popular press materials include information found in newspapers, magazines and journals.
  • Public records include a variety of materials such as church records, vital records, laws, bills, census data and court records.
  • Personal accounts include letters, diaries, slave narratives and oral histories. 

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  • Use the Gett It button

If you are searching within a library database and cannot find the full text of articles you want, use the Gett It button to request the article through interlibrary loan (ILL). The Gett It button is found on every entry where the full text option is not available. Sometimes clicking the Gett It button will take you to the full text right away, but most of the time you will have to process the request through ILL. Use your student username and password to login. This will take you to the request form. Double check the information, then submit request. ILL requests take 24-72 hours for articles Monday-Friday (there is no staff to work through requests on the weekends). 

  • Use the full text restriction if you cannot wait for a requested item

When time is a serious constraint, some databases have a restriction for full text only, often found on the left side column of the search results. This will only show you results where the database links directly to HTML or a PDF of the text. This severely limits the amount of sources that you can see, however, and is not advisable if you have the time to wait for an ILL request. 

  • Connect back to library resources if you search outside our databases

Sometimes you may find sources through Google Scholar or out on the internet that you want the full text for. You should always try to find those sources or request those sources through the library in order to get the full text. You should not pay for sources because you can always request items through ILL.

Google Scholar can be linked to our library database so the full text or the Gett It button appears on the right side of every entry:

  • Go to Preferences
  • Go to Library Links
  • Search Gettysburg College

You are also able to log in to ILL and fill out a request form using the information you found from an outside site. It's always best to search the article in our databases, however, and use the Gett It button from there if possible. This will ensure that all of the information needed to process the request is present.

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  • The Gett It button

​The Gett It button is found on entries in our article databases where no full text option is linked through the database. Clicking the Gett It button either sends you to the full text through another database or asks you to request the item through ILL. When using the Gett It button, the request form will be automatically filled out. After double checking the information, you submit your request and will be notified about the retrieval of your article in approximately 24-72 hours Monday-Friday (there is no staff working Saturday and Sunday).

  • Logging in

You log in to ILL with your regular student username and password. Your password updates when you change it.

  • Filling out the form

If you do not use the Gett It button and want to manually request an item, you log in to ILL and request the item based on the source type (article, book, book chapter), which will be on the left side of the screen. Offer as much information as possible, but you will notice some fields are mandatory for the request to be put through.

  • Checking requests

You can check the status of your requests by logging in to ILL. Your outstanding requests, the books/articles you have not received yet, are visible on the home page. If you click 'Electronically received articles,' you can see past requests that have been received, but these are only available for a certain number of days until the article is deleted from the system.

  • Requests denied

​Sometimes you will get emails that your request has been denied. Often this will mean that the full text could be found within the library system.  Ask a librarian at the Research Help Desk if you need help finding the article or book.

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  • Think about how items fit into your argument/claim

Think about what you are trying to argue in your paper, and look at how your sources relate to that argument. You want sources that make your argument stronger. Often they will be sources that support the argument that you are trying to make or that your argument can expand on. Sometimes it is relevant to have sources that refute your argument, however, so you have the opportunity to defend your argument.

Be careful of sources that are on your topic but do not relate to your claims. If the source is merely providing filler, i.e. not moving the argument forward or taking it on an unnecessary tangent, you may not want to use this source.

  • Skim items to evaluate their relevance

​You should try to have an idea of what a source is arguing before you read the whole item. This will save you time and help you weed out irrelevant sources.

Read the abstract. If your item has an abstract, this is the most important piece for you to use. This will summarize the author's main argument so that you can see how it might relate to your own. 

Use other clues if there is no abstract. Carefully read the title of the item, and see if that gives you an idea of what will be argued in the piece. Read the introduction or conclusion to get a better idea of what the article will say before you read the entire source.

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  • Look at the author

Generally, the authors of scholarly books are going to hold PhDs in their field of study and are normally working at a university. Look at the author information in the book and see if they seem reputable. You can also search the author online and see if they have a significant internet presence and find some of the other works they have published.

  • Consider the publisher 

Generally, the publishers of scholarly books come from prestigious publishers, such as Oxford University Press or University of Chicago Press. If the publisher's name does not stick out to you, you can always search online and see what kind of reputation the company has and what kinds of books they publish.

  • Look at the book's references

​Most scholarly books will include a list of references at the end of works cited within the book. Scholarly books will normally have a considerable number of references to other scholarly works.

  • Look at who has cited the book

Another indicator of whether or not the book is scholarly, especially to see whether or not it is important in its field, is to look at who has cited the book. If other scholars are citing the book, that is indication that the book is probably scholarly. If many scholars are citing it, it is most likely an important book in its field.

To see who has cited a book, search the book title in Google Scholar. In the entry to the book, it will give a rough estimate of how many published authors have cited the book. The number is obviously not exact, as not every book or article is going to be picked up by this system, but it does provide a good idea of a book's significance in academia. Also be mindful of the date of publication. If a book came out in 2016, there has not been much time for other scholars to respond to the work yet.  

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  • The meaning of peer review

When an article is peer reviewed, this means that the scholar who wrote the article had to let other scholars in the field (peers) read and judge the work before it could be published. They ensure that the author's argument is sound and that the work contributes to the progress of its field. When a professor says that they want you to use peer reviewed articles, they want to ensure that you are citing scholarly works written by academics. 

  • Look at the article for signs of peer review

One of the clearest signs of the peer review process is if an article has an accepted date that is separate from its written date, which signifies that the article had to be reviewed after it was written in order to be accepted in the journal.

​Not all peer-reviewed articles will give an accepted date, however. You often have to look at the article itself to determine whether it is a scholarly work or not.

  • Look at the author. Scholarly articles are normally written by people with PhDs who are affiliated with a specific university. If you cannot find this in the article itself, search the author online to see if they have these credentials.
  • Consider the length. If your article is fewer than 5 pages, chances are that this is not a scholarly article. A scholarly article represents a significant amount of work done by the author, and they will normally be 10 pages or longer depending on the subject area.
  • Look at the references. Almost all scholarly articles cite other academics in their field. Most scholarly articles will have an extensive reference list at the end of the article or in the footnotes that show the author engaging in a dialogue with other scholars.
  • Research the journal. You can search the journal title online, where you can not only see if the journal looks reputable and academic, but most journals' websites will provide information on the publishing process, which may include information on peer review.

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  • Google Scholar

If you search the work in Google Scholar, there will be a 'Cited by' button with the number of works next to it. If you click this, you can see each item individually.

Make sure that you have your Google Scholar set up to the Musselman Library system, however, as this will make retrieving items much easier by providing the full text or the Gett It button on the right hand side. To do this follow these steps:

  • Go to Preferences
  • Go to Library Links
  • Search Gettysburg College
     
  • School databases

The 'Cited by' feature is also available on some of our library databases, like Academic Search Premier, Historical Abstracts and PsycINFO. Normally, you will find this on the left side of individual entries. This method can be limiting, however, because it only shows you sources within each particular database. 

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  • Use Purdue University's online citation guide

We link to Purdue University for MLA citations. It gives you information on how to do in-text citations, how to format your quotes, how to cite different sources on your Works Cited page, and much more.

Say you want to cite one chapter in a compiled work, meaning that an editor has combined the essays of multiple scholars. You would first click on the "MLA Works Cited Page: Books" category.  

From there, you scroll down until you find the source type that most closely matches your own. Follow the format they give you.

It is important to remember that the source type does not have to exactly match your own. We provide citations so that readers can find the sources and evidence that we use. Citation styles offer guidelines for you to provide the best possible information for someone to find your article, but they cannot account for all types of sources.

  • Use the print copy of the MLA style guidelines (ask at the reference desk)

​Online guides like Purdue University are often not as comprehensive as the print editions that we own of the official APA, Chicago, MLA, Turabian, etc. manuals.   Most of the time, you will be able to find what you need online, but we always keep copies of style guidelines behind the reference desk for very specific questions. 

  • Use a citation tool to organize and generate your citations

There are also tools like RefWorks and Zotero where you can export your citations from our databases. They will store your sources and provide your works cited list once you are finished. RefWorks also has a Write-n-Cite feature to help you with in-text citations.

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  • Use Purdue University's online citation guide

We link to Purdue University for APA citations. It gives you information on how to do in-text citations, how to format your quotes, how to cite different sources on your Works Cited page and much more.

Say you want to cite an article with four authors. You would first click on the "Reference List: Authors" category.  

From there, you scroll down until you find the source type that most closely matches your own. Follow the format they give you.

It is important to remember that the source type does not have to exactly match your own. We provide citations so that readers can find the sources and evidence that we use. Citation styles offer guidelines for you to provide the best possible information for someone to find your article, but they cannot account for all types of sources.

  • Use the print copy of the APA style guidelines (ask at the reference desk)

​Online guides like Purdue University are often not as comprehensive as the print editions that we own of the style guidelines. Most of the time, you will be able to find what you need online, but we always keep copies of style guidelines behind the reference desk for very specific questions. 

  • Use a citation tool to organize and generate your citations

There are also tools like RefWorks and Zotero where you can export your citations from our databases. They will store your sources and provide your reference list once you are finished. RefWorks also has a Write-n-Cite feature to help you with in-text citations.

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  • Use the official Turabian guide from the University of Chicago Press

We link to the University of Chicago Press for Turabian citations. It gives you information on making footnotes or endnotes and a bibliography for different source types. 

You'll notice on the site that they give two different options for footnote or endnote citations: a longer bibliography style and a shorter author-date style. They then provide the citation for the bibliography.

If, for example, you want to cite a newspaper article, you scroll down until you find the source type that most closely matches your own. Follow the format they give you.

It is important to remember that the source type does not have to exactly match your own. The reason that we cite is so that readers can find the sources that we use. Citation styles offer guidelines for you to provide the best possible information for someone to find your article, but they cannot account for all types of sources.

  • Use the print copy of the Turabian style guidelines (ask at the Research Help desk)

​Online guides like the one from the University of Chicago Press are often not as comprehensive as the print editions that we own of the style guidelines. Most of the time, you will be able to find what you need online, but we always keep copies of style guidelines behind the reference desk for more specific questions. 

  • Use a citation tool to organize and generate your citations

There are also tools like RefWorks and Zotero where you can export your citations from our databases. They will store your sources and provide your bibliography once you are finished. RefWorks also has a Write-n-Cite feature to help you with in-text citations.

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Check our Citation Research Guide for links to online resources for different citation styles as well as a list of the print citation manuals we keep behind the reference desk.

 

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Sometimes you will use a source that does not match perfectly with any of the descriptions you find in citation guides. For example, you may want to cite a letter written by one historical figure to another, but you cannot find that source type in the guide for your citation style.

Find the closest matching citation for your citation style. The most important thing to understand with citations is that you are trying to let your reader know where you found your sources so that they can look them up if they need to. Find the citation that most closely matches your source type and then use that citation as a guideline for how to craft your own. Make sure you put in enough information for someone to find your exact source in the exact place you found it.

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  • Quoting

​Quotations are used when a statement from a source cannot be rephrased. The author may be using particular language that would lose some of its meaning if put into different words. The statement may lose its power or impact when rephrased. 

You often provide a citation after the quote in parenthesis. You can also cite the source in an introductory phrase, although sometimes you still need to provide the page number after the quote.

  • Paraphrasing

​The alternative to quoting a source is to put statements from the source into your own words. This does not mean that you are just changing around a few words or replacing everything with synonyms. You are synthesizing information from the source for your own purposes.

One of the benefits of paraphrasing is that it can be done more efficiently than quoting--you can provide more information with less space. While you must always be clear that you are not manipulating another author's words or leaving out an important element, you can paraphrase longer quotations in the article by breaking it down to the essentials.

You always need to cite the source at the end of your paraphrasing. You still need an in-text citation even if you do not quote the source.

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Avoiding plagiarism means giving any ideas that are not your own proper attribution. If you did not come up with the idea or it is not common knowledge (ex: the location of cities, the years of a president's term), you either cite the idea or you do not use the idea.

When it comes to sources that you find while doing research, you must always cite the source every time that you use it, even if you are not quoting directly from the source.

If there are people contributing ideas to your work who are not supposed to, this is plagiarism. Unless you are working on a group assignment where each person is listed as the author of the paper, no other students or people you know should be contributing ideas to your assignment. If there is someone who you are taking ideas from that you would not feel comfortable citing, do not use these ideas.  

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  • Use the options available to you in databases

​On many databases, there are several ways for you to store your sources so that you do not lose them. 

Permalinks. These are permanent links that will always take you to an item's page on a database. If you copy and paste the page link that's in the address bar when you first find the source, you'll be left with a broken link that won't get you back to your page.

Saving. The save option lets you collect multiple articles from a database and then export or email them to yourself once you have collected all the items you want. This way you don't have to deal with storing each item individually.

Emailing. You can have individual items emailed to yourself with the full-text attached.  

  • Use RefWorks or Zotero

We suggest using RefWorks or Zotero because they are both tools that help you store and organize sources and generate citations. RefWorks also offers a Write-n-Cite feature that helps you generate in-text citations.

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  • Use RefWorks or Zotero

We suggest one of two different tools: RefWorks or Zotero. They both help you store and organize sources and generate citations, but RefWorks also offers a Write-n-Cite feature that helps you generate in-text citations.

  • Use citation options in the databases

​Many databases will have a 'Cite' option on individual item pages that generates citations for the most common citation styles. Always be sure to double check the citation, however. Capitalization, for example, is not always correct in these citations depending on how the title is stored in the database.

  • Use outside websites like Citation Machine

​​​There are websites like Citation Machine that will help you generate citations in the correct format, but you have to provide all of the information.

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