This guide will assist you in planning and conducting research for a college-level paper. The process is described in two steps: Preliminary and In-Depth research.
In this stage, you are defining your topic. What is this topic all about? Who cares about it? What are the significant events or issues related to the topic? Etc.
Preliminary research prepares you to do more in-depth research later. You will:
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For preliminary research, use sources that provide overviews and background information on your topic, such as subject encyclopedias. Some library databases are helpful:
In this stage, you are gathering detailed information to answer your focused research question. You will:
For in-depth research, you should use a variety of sources. Some examples are: newspaper articles, scholarly journal articles, experts' websites, educational films, interviews with experts. Some library databases are helpful:
Use these color-coded guides to help you develop correct MLA style citations.