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Library Research & Graduate Writing


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  • Authority: library databases provide access to authoritative, scholarly, credible sources that undergo a rigorous publication process. These works are published and recognized by experts in their respective fields. Anyone can publish information on the open web. The web is a good place for general information on a topic, but scholarly research requires scholarly sources, most of which are unavailable on the open web.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Academic Research & Writing
    • 2.
      • Start with a solid research topic.
        • Consider:
          • What do you know on the subject?
          • Who will your audience be?
          • What do they already know about it?
          • What do you want to inform your audience about?
        • Before you start searching for information, brainstorm and choose a research topic.
    • 3.
      • Once you choose a topic, decide what your “angle” or goal will be.
        • Will you be proving a point?
        • Making a case?
        • Analyzing information?
        • It is important determine the goal of your paper, so that you can find the best genre to meet your writing needs.
    • 4.
      • The most common genres for academic, research-based writing are:
        • Analytical
          • Offers a critical interpretation on a subject, shows the writer’s “analysis” of the subject-matter. Does not take a stance. Explores existing information and tries to present a new understanding.
        • Argumentative
          • Takes a stance on a topic and tries to persuade readers to agree with the writer’s position.
          • Both genres require that the writer support their points with authoritative information from credible, scholarly sources.
    • 5.
      • Once you choose a subject and an angle, it is time to start searching for information to support your ideas.
      • By searching for and reading articles related to your subject, you will:
        • Understand the different views proposed by other writers and experts
        • Find information and data to support your arguments
        • Become an informed writer
    • 6.
      • Library Databases and news banks:
        • The library’s E-Research page provides direct access to a variety of general and subject-specific databases, including full-text databases.
    • 7.
      • Library Databases vs. Online Search Engines
        • Authority
        • Scholarly
        • Credibility
    • 8.
      • A good place to start your research.
        • ABI/INFORM
        • Academic Search Premier
        • ProQuest Central
        • General Reference Center
        • InfoTrac/InfoTrac OneFile
        • Not sure how to start your research…
        • Ask your STU librarians!
    • 9.
      • General Business File ASAP (Gale)
      •   Health Business Elite (EBSCO)
      • LexisNexis Academic
      • Mergent Online
      •   Statistical Datasets
      • ProQuest Central
      • Your source for reference assistance:
        • Larry Treadwell: [email_address]
    • 10.
      • SportDiscus
      •   ABI/INFORM
      •   Academic Search Premier
    • 11.
      • PsycInfo
      • Health Reference Center Academic
      • ProQuest Central
      • Academic Search Premier
      • InfoTrac
      • ABI/INFORM
    • 12.
      • You’ve chosen a topic, brainstormed ideas, decided on an angle, and read several relevant articles... It’s time to start writing!
      • Some things to remember:
        • It’s a good idea to start with an outline. It will keep your writing focused, and aid in developing a strong, thesis-driven essay.
        • Follow the conventions set by your department’s designated style manual. – APA, MLA, Turabian, Chicago