College Resources

Using & Citing Library Resources

Sometimes, finding resources is the easy part! 

Knowing how to properly use information resources in your research assignments can be trickier. Hopefully, the following tips and resources will help you.

Evaluating Resources

A good researcher is concerned not only with finding information, but also with evaluating it. This is especially true when using Web resources. Use the questions below to determine whether information that you find on the Internet is reliable.

Ask Yourself ...

  • Does the Web address (URL) tell me that the site is commercial (.com), government (.gov), educational (.edu), or other?

  • Have I heard of the people who offer this site?

  • Am I expected to do, believe, or buy something? 

  • Is the resource up-to-date?

  • Is the information presented professionally?

  • Does the information provider acknowledge his sources?

Additional Help
An Evaluating Web Sites Worksheet is available to help you to conduct a more thorough evaluation of a Web-based resource. If you have doubts about any of the above questions, you should consider seeking other sources that verify the information that you have found. If you need help verifying information, contact the library staff!
 

Avoiding Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a serious form of academic dishonesty that is subject to disciplinary action. To avoid plagiarism, you will need to carefully paraphrase and cite the works that you use in your research papers. The following links can help:

Style Guides

Style guides offer standardized methods for crediting sources that writers use in their research. The style guides that are most commonly used by Piedmont Tech students are published by the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Modern Language Association (MLA). Both include formulas for constructing footnotes, endnotes and works cited lists.
 

  • APA Style
    Primarily for writers in the sciences. To learn more about APA, use the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition that is available in the library or visit http://www.apastyle.org/apa-style-help.aspx
     

  • MLA Style
    Primarily for writers in the arts and humanities. To learn more, use the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Seventh Edition that is available in the library. 

Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL) is a helpful source of information for using both APA and MLA style. Visitors will find information, citation examples, and sample papers to guide their own writing.
   

Writing Citations

After deciding which style guide to use, you will need to cite each resource that you use in your research assignments. We strongly recommend exploring the print versions of the style guides mentioned above, but there are other tools that can help you, including:
 

  • EBSCO (Collegiate DISCUS) Databases
    Most of the databases that are provided through the Collegiate Discus program are published by EBSCO. EBSCO has developed a citation tool that will allow you to print or e-mail APA and MLA citations for the articles that you use. Do this from the Citation part of each article. Please remember that this system is not perfect!! Do not turn in your work without comparing your work cited list or reference page with the examples provided in the print APA and MLA style manuals.
     

  • GALE (DISCUS) Databases
    Many of the databases that are provided through the Discus program are published by Gale. Gale provides citations near the bottom of many articles that appear in their databases. Please remember that these citations are not perfect!! Do not turn in your assignment without comparing your work cited list or reference page with the examples provided in the print APA and MLA style manuals.
     

  • Citation Machine
    The Citation Machine Web site can guide you as you write individual citations. Please remember that this system is not perfect!! Do not turn in your work without comparing your work cited list or reference page with the examples provided in the print APA and MLA style manuals.