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Research Process and Citation Style

The Reference Department is a good place to start your search for information. The librarians there can suggest sources of information and research strategies which may help you in your information search. There are also sources in the Reference Department that will help you choose and understand a topic, narrow it down, and provide you with the terms you need to look up more information.

A step-by-step search strategy can help you organize your research. These steps can be summarized as follows:

  1. Choose a topic.
  2. Define your terms.
  3. Refine your topic.
  4. Locate books, periodicals, and other sources of information.
  5. Collect and organize all information.
  6. Analyze your information.
  7. Write your paper and compile your final

After choosing a topic for research, you may need to narrow and refine it by analyzing its various aspects and defining its scope. You can get background information and an overview of a topic from such sources as specialized subject encyclopedias and dictionaries. A reference librarian can help you identify keywords to search for more information on your topic in books listed on our PACs (Public Access Catalogs) or information in journals found through databases. A librarian can also suggest other resources in the library that are likely to be useful to you in your research. Finally, when you are ready to complete your research, you may want to check one of the style manuals located in the Reference Department for citing your sources.


Style Manuals

  • The Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual. Ref. PN 4783 .A8 1987
  • The Chicago Manual of Style. Ref. Z 253 .U69 1993
  • Electronic Styles: A Handbook for Citing Electronic Information 1996. Ref. PN 171 .F56 L5 1996
  • MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. Ref. LB 2369 .G53 2003
  • The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage : a Desk Book of Guidelines for Writers and Editors. Ref. PN 4783 .J6 1976
  • Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Ref. BF 76.7 .P83 2001
  • Turabian, Kate. A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. Ref. LB 2369 .T8 1996


Online Style Guides

Created by Laura Manzari
and Kelly Lusak

Long Island University

LIU Post

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