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Getting started with research.

The Vaughan Memorial Library in Canada has produced a mini-lesson on research, if you have never had research instruction, then this quick tutorial will definitely help! Give yourself ten minutes and begin your research journey here!

Citation Guidelines

At CHS we use the MLA (The Modern Language Association of America) format for citation. This means that every research assignment you turn in should include a list of Works Cited. A Works Cited page acknowledges the authors and works you read, looked at, or skimmed in the course of your research. All of the resources you handled in the course of your research (even if you did not quote them directly) must be included in the list since they all played a part in developing your thoughts and writing on the subject. If you use an exact quote or information from another source, even if you paraphrase, you must include textual citations.

There are many resources available in our library to help you cite your sources. We have several copies of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (2009), 7th edition, as well as MLA format handouts, worksheets and links to useful citation web sites. Don't forget to use your teachers and librarian as resources as well.

Plagiarism is not tolerated. Your handbook clearly states that plagiarism and cheating are both forms of academic dishonesty.

It is so important to remember to give credit to the authors whose works and ideas you draw from. Creating a Works Cited page and using textual citations is very easy. Feel free to ask for help with this when you visit the library!

These sites are really easy to use and have detailed explanations and examples of the MLA format:

Indiana University's Writing Tutorial: Plagiarism: What it is and how to avoid it.

Purdue University's Owl Online Writing Lab provides a site on MLA citation as well. Click on "Basic Forms for Electronic Sources" for web site citation.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Writing Center has a great web site to help you with MLA-style citation for print and electronic resources:

Many thanks to Mrs. Harland at SAU 17 for helpful ideas on teaching students about plagiarism.

Great Research Sites

Internet Public Library
A great place for students to begin Internet research. The Internet Public Library is maintained by the University of Michigan School of Information. It is a web index that is browsable or keyword searchable. It provides links to librarian-evaluated web sites that are accurate and information-rich.

Academic Info.: Your Gateway to Quality Educational Resources
Has links to great subject area databases and reference sites. Academic Info is a nonprofit tax-exempt educational organization. "Mission: Improve access to online educational resources by developing an easy to use subject directory covering each academic discipline. The directory will contain free resources on each subject. Within each subject students will find general indexes and resources, free online publications, journals, and databases, career opportunities, and online reference material."

American Memory - The Library of Congress
Excellent site for images, sound recordings and other primary sources on the history and culture of the U.S. "American Memory is a gateway to the Library of Congress's vast resources of digitized American historical materials. Comprising more than 9 million items that document U.S. history and culture, the site is organized into more than 100 thematic collections. Original formats include prints, photographs, manuscripts, posters, maps, sound recordings, motion pictures, books, pamphlets and sheet music."

INFOMINE: Scholarly Internet Resource Collections
Sound resources - great for finding electronic journals and government documents
"INFOMINE is a virtual library of Internet resources relevant to faculty, students, and research staff at the university level. It contains useful Internet resources such as databases, electronic journals, electronic books, bulletin boards, mailing lists, online library card catalogs, articles, directories of researchers, and many other types of information." The site was created by the University of California. Look for the "Instruction Resources: K-12" section.

GEM Project Site
Emphasis on teacher resources and sites to use with students
GEM stands for the Gateway to Educational Materials. It is sponsored by the US Department of Education. The gateway allows you to search for lesson plans, curriculum units, and a variety of educational web resources. The resources indexed through the gateway have been reviewed by the organization and are very reliable.

National Science Digital Library
Excellent resource for science and math teachers and their classes
"The comprehensive source for science, technology, engineering and mathematics education. Funded by the National Science Foundation. NSDL is a digital library of exemplary resource collections and services, organized in support of science education at all levels. Starting with a partnership of NSDL-funded projects, NSDL is emerging as a center of innovation in digital libraries as applied to education, and a community center for groups focused on digital-library-enabled science education."

Finding Information on the Internet: A Tutorial
This tutorial is really helpful if you want to maximize your Internet searching.
"The "visible web" is what you see in the results pages from general web search engines. It's also what you see in almost all subject directories. The "invisible web" is what you cannot retrieve ("see") in the search results and other links contained in these types of tools." This UC Berkeley web tutorial provides strategies for finding useful resources on the web as well as links to free online databases and directories that will improve your searching capability.

Web Evaluation Tools

Make sure you check the authority and accuracy of the websites you find before you use them in your research. Use the following criteria to judge the quality of a site: currency, relevancy, authority, accuracy, and purpose.

A very useful tool for evaluation is The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, or, Why It's a Good Idea to Evaluate Web Sources

Other helpful sites are:

CRAAP: Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose

Internet Detective -

Recommended Search Engines

Google Scholar (search engine) -

Sweet Search (search engine) -

Google (search engine) - (Use Advanced Search Tools: Not sure how? Ask your librarian!)

Helpful research sites

Internet Public Library (research links) -

New York Public Library (research links) -

Searching Tips

Don't forget to try print AND online resources to find your information! You can use the online catalog to search for individual books on a subject, or you can use books from our reference collection to get your research started. It's a good idea to find information from books AND online sources.

Before you begin your research, think of broad and narrow search terms to use. It helps to have several different terms for the same topic in case you try to search on a lesser-used term. For example, if your project is on the illness called SIDS, possible search terms could be: SIDS, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, crib death. When searching in online databases or with Internet search engines, there are a few helpful tricks to remember: If you want to search for a specific phrase, put it in quotes (i.e. "crib death"). This prevents the search engine from bringing up sites or articles with just the words "crib" or "death" in them. It will only return hits containing the entire phrase.

Use Boolean operators to refine your search (and, +, or). For example, if I entered the search term (SIDS or "crib death") the database or search engine would return hits containing the word "SIDS," hits with the phrase "crib death," and hits containing both. If I used one of the following two search strings, (SIDS and disease / SIDS+disease), I would ONLY get web sites containing BOTH terms (not web sites containing either and both). Boolean operators are important because they can help filter out useless web sites and they can ensure the inclusion of relevant ones.

**Different web sites and databases use other operators to filter or broaden searches. The tips on this page represent the most common operators. Read the introduction to the web site or database before you search in it to get the best results.

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Litchfield School District - SAU #27

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Campbell High School:
1 Highlander Court, Litchfield, NH 03052
Phone: 603-546-0300
Fax: 603-546-0310
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