Virtual Reference Desk - Web Resources

Homework Help

The MLA Style Citation Guide

The Research Process

What do you want to know? 
    Ask questions to guide your research:  Who, What, Where, When, Why, How?
Where do I find accurate answers? 
    Reference Books (Encyclopedias), authoritative web resources, journal articles and newspapers found in online databases.
    How can I tell if a web resource is authoritative? Evaluation Criteria
What next? 
    Gather information on index cards.
    Be clear if you are directly quoting, paraphrasing, or summarizing.
    Keep track of your sources.
What information do I need from my sources?
Books, Encyclopedias, etc. - Information is usually found in the first few pages.
    Place of Publication
    Name of Publishing Company
    Year of Publication
Web Sites - Information is often found in header, footer, or 'About' section. 
    Author (Person or Company)
    Date Created/Published/Updated
    Date of Access (Today's Date)
    Web Address (URL or Database info)
How do I begin writing? 
    Determine the purpose of your paper.
    Formulate a thesis statement.
    Make an outline to organize your ideas and guide your writing.
    Write a draft and have it reviewed with feedback.
    Revise and proofread your paper.
    Help!   The Owl at Purdue
Can I copy-and-paste the information into my paper? 
    Use your notes to help you write but do not copy-and-paste or rearrange the wording without an in-text citation. (See Learning to Cite.)
    Avoid plagiarism; if it's not your idea show where you found it. Plagiarism: What it is and how to recognize and avoid it
What is a works cited/bibliography page? 
    This is where you document your sources. See Preparing a works Cited Section.
    Follow the proper MLA format. See Using MLA Style to Cite and Document Sources
    Most databases will create the citation for you. 
    Here are some citation generators: Son of Citation Machine     NoodleTools

eBooks and Audio Books

You can access eBooks at the Gale Virtual Reference Library.  It provides access to 314 reference sets, which equates to over 1500 titles in most educational subjects available online in full-text. The interface is similar to that of a database and can be searched in a similar manner. There is a citation generator, email/print/save options, and a translation feature.

For eBooks, you can download OverDrive Software from the OverDrive weblink at the right.  The OverDrive Media Console is free and available for desktop and laptop computers with Microsoft Windows operating systems.     There are several ways of searching the BCCLS catalog to find downloadable audiobooks from OverDrive. If you would like to see the entire collection, type Downloadable OverDrive into the search box. This search will show all the downloadable titles available in BCCLS. If you wish to search for a particular title, add the author name or book title to Downloadable OverDrive.