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EN 1201 - College Writing II (King & Moore)

How to Become a Professional Researcher

Step #1: Ask good questions

It is important before you start your research, to spend some time thinking about your topic. By identifying key themes, you will be able to develop a better idea of what your research might look like.
 
Start by trying to answer the following questions:
What don’t you know about this topic?
Why is it important?
Why are you interested in it?

Step #2: Figure out what kind of information you need

 Consider your assignment and its purpose. Are you writing an overview of a topic or taking a stance on an issue? Who will be reading it? There any many different types of resources and answering this question will tell you what kind of resources you should use.
 
Research articles are best for writing about new developments in a field. They are the gold standard for papers in the sciences because they are written by experts, for experts
Review articles are like research articles in that they look at a specific field. They are useful for learning what has been done previously and what the trends are.
Popular articles cover very current topics. They are written by journalists for the general public.
Books and encyclopedias are best for getting an overview on a topic. 

Step #3: Find the research you need

The Library's website is a great place to start your research because our resources are a higher quality than what you can find free on Google. 

The big search box is called Summon. It is a "Google-like" tool that searches many DelVal databases (and the book catalog) at the same time. It is a nice time saver, and it often uncovers resources that you might otherwise have overlooked.

Other Sources

Interlibrary Loan

If a book or article you want is not available, use Interlibrary Loan (ILL). The Library can order books and articles from other libraries. This process takes few days but is completely free for DelVal students, faculty, and staff.

Before you submit an ILL, check Google Scholar or Summon to see if we have immediate access or if it is freely available online.

How to Format your Bibliography

MLA Style Citation Examples

In-Text Citations

NOTE: MLA treats quotations and paraphrasing the same. 

(Last name Page)

Example:

(Dorris and Erdrich 23)


More than two authors

(Last name et al. Page)

Example:

(Burdick et al. 42)

Journal Articles

 Last name, First name. "Article Title." Journal Title, vol., no. if available, year, pages. Database, if available. Stable URL, if available. 

Example: 

 Borroff, Marie. "Sound Symbolism as Drama in the Poetry of Robert Frost." PMLA, vol. 107, no. 1, Jan. 1992, pp. 131-44. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/462806.


Journal article with multiple authors

When a source has more than two authors, include Last name, First name, et al.

 Last name, First name, and First name Last name. "Article Title." Journal Title, vol., no. if available, year, pages. Database, if available. Stable URL, if available. 

Example: 

 Dorris, Michael, and Louise Erdich. "The Crown of Columbus." PMLA, vol. 120, no. 3, May 1997, pp. 182-44. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/462806.

Books

Last name, first name. Book Title. Publisher, abbreviated as appropriate, year. 

Example:

Borroff, Marie. Language and the Poet: Verbal Artistry in Frost, Stevens, and Moore. U of Chicago P, 1979.


Book with multiple authors

When a source has three or more authors, reverse the first name and follow it with a comma and et al.

Last name, first name, et al. Book Title. Publisher, abbreviated as appropriate, year. 

Example:

Burdick, Anne, et al. Digital Humanities, MIT P, 2012. 


Chapter in edited book

 Last name, first name. "Chapter Title." Book Title, edited by Editor, Publisher, abbreviated as appropriate, year, pp. pages. 

Example:

 Bazin, Patrick. "Toward Metareading." The Future of the Book, edited by Geoffry Nunberg, U of California P, 1996, pp. 153-68.

Newspaper Articles

 Last name, First name. “Article Title.” Newspaper Title, First name Last name of any other contributors, Version, Numbers, Date of publication, Location.

Example:

Tumola, Cristabelle. “NYC Developers Seek to Justify High Prices with New Amenities.” Metro [New York City], 9 Aug. 2016, p. 4.

Website

Sometimes, websites do not clearly state who wrote the information on the page. When no author is listed, omit the author information from the citation. Start the citation with the title.

 Last name, First name. “Article or Page Title.” Website Title, Name of the publisher, Date of publication, URL.

Example:

 White, Lori. “The Newest Fad in People Helping People: Little Free Pantries.” Upworthy, Cloud Tiger Media, 3 Aug. 2016,
www.upworthy.com/the-newest-fad-in-people-helping-people-little-free-pantries?g=2&c=hpstream.

Annotated Bibliography

WHAT IS AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY?

An annotated bibliography is a list of citations. What makes it different from a Works Cited or standard Bibliography is that each citation is followed followed by 1-2 paragraphs which inform the reader about the source. You should reflect on how you plan to incorporate a source into your paper. 

1. The citation

In MLA format. Arranged alphabetically by author's last name.

2. The summary

Provide a brief overview detailing what your article or book is about. You can discuss the authority of the author, the intended audience, or how this fits into the literature in that field.

3. The analysis

Explain why this article or book is important to your argument. Show how it supports and/or refutes your argument. You might also discuss its limitations or biases. Be as specific as possible.

Is the example you need missing?

Contact the Library at library@delval.edu to request a new example and citation help!

How to set up RefWorks

RefWorks

RefWorks is a new way to collect, manage, and organize research.  You can read, annotate, organize, and cite your research as well as collaborate by sharing collections.

From simple bibliographies to papers formatted with in-text citations or footnotes, RefWorks handles it all. ​To learn more about RefWorks, use our RefWorks research guide.

To create a RefWorks account:

  1. Go to the link below and click Create account
  2. Fill in your information, making sure to use your DelVal email address.  
  3. Go to your inbox and click the email link to complete the activation process. 

Already have an account? Just go to the link below and click "Log In"

Online Tutorials

RefWorks screencasts are available 24/7 on ProQuest's YouTube Channel. 

Click here to begin watching.

Getting Help