Skills: Research & Citations
How to research
Infographic from the Northeastern Library
The Northeastern Library has a series of video, slides, and handouts on topics like: “How do I choose a research topic?”; “How do I choose keywords for my search?”; and “How do I find peer-reviewed sources?”
Research in sociology, history, business, and engineering are all different! Each field has distinct places (journals, databases) where they compile the most recent research of the discipline. The library also has a wide range of subject guides that can help you research recent trends in your area.
Library staff are here to help you with your research! They can point you in the right direction if you contact a specialist in your field for an appointment or if you drop-in during help hours.
How to cite
“Citing” means adding a clear source for every piece of information that comes from somewhere else. At some point, you’ll certainly need to create a Bibliography, a Works Cited, or a References page that lists all the sources you consulted.
Various style guides (like APA, MLA, and Chicago) have specific rules about how to cite to create consistency within a piece of writing. Writers need to know how to adapt to different citation styles. But don’t worry! There are lots of guides out there.
The Northeastern Library offers links to citation style guides, such as APA, MLA, and IEEE.
The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University offers a wide variety of guides, including up-to-date resources on: MLA, APA, Chicago, and AMA.
Why it’s important to cite
The Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution maintains the university’s academic integrity policy. Here is an excerpt from their definition of plagiarism:
The University defines plagiarism as using as one’s own the words, ideas, data, code, or other original academic material of another without providing proper citation or attribution. Plagiarism can apply to any assignment, either final or drafted copies, and it can occur either accidentally or deliberately. Claiming that one has “forgotten” to document ideas or material taken from another source does not exempt one from plagiarizing.
In order to avoid plagiarism, writers need careful habits when taking notes and researching. The Purdue OWL recommends a series of “safe practices.”
use “quotation marks” any time you are taking notes from a source, even if you are just borrowing a few words;
include page numbers and web links in your notes;
cite as you go in your outline and draft–otherwise you might forget where information came from!
Our Northeastern Writing Center consultants can help you if you’re unsure if you are citing appropriately.