I am Tim Kircher, your library liaison. If you need help, you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or ask for me at the Bradenton campus library, building 3. Any of my colleagues are happy to help you out as well if I'm not around. Your first research assignments can be confusing and overwhelming but we here at the library will help you make sense of it!
There are extremely helpful resources you can access directly from our website.
Don't miss out on textbooks for in library use, study spaces you can reserve, workshops, tutorials, and our Ask a Librarian chat service.
The MLA Citation style is a set of rules for how to format a paper and references to ensure that it is well organized, easy for the reader to follow, and follows various consistent procedures for providing the information that a reader would need to check references.
References are the sources that are used to inform your writing. Citations are a quick, consistently formatted way of presenting enough information about a source so that the reader can find it if they....
* Want to understand your thought process better by reading the works that informed you.
*Want to go deeper into a topic that you may only have briefly mentioned.
*Allows readers to hold you accountable for using high quality information and giving proper credit to the creators of the works that influenced you.
Start here if you are new to college research!
Even if you think you know how to research, researching may mean something different to your instructor than it does to you.
So make sure the two of you are on the same page!
Books: The Ultimate Rabbit Hole
Why books? We here at SCF Libraries understand why you might be hesitant to rely on books for research. The internet seems more up to date. Databases make it easier to tell at a glance where the information you are using came from and if its from a scholarly article or peer reviewed. Text on a computer is also often quicker to skim thanks to hyperlinks and searchable text. When you factor in tight deadlines for submitting assignments, setting aside the efficiency of web and database sources doesn't seem to make sense.
Here are some reasons to consider books, whether eBooks or print:
- They're not as hard to navigate as you think: tables of contents and indexes can make browsing even print books very efficient.
- Context is king! Ever read a Tweet or a short article and still not really understand what its about?
- Headlines and social media posts are like pieces to a thousand piece jigsaw puzzle that got dropped on the floor if you are just starting to learn about a topic.
- Books give you the context you need to not just know trivia about a topic, but to understand how all the random facts and bits of trivia fit together.
- Tune out distractions: books don't have pop ups and notifications that break your concentration.
How do I find books?
The following tutorial will show you how to search for books of both the print and eBook variety. Or you can go straight to search here. Be sure to select "Books" from the "Material Type" menu.
You can also walk in and browse our print collection. It is organized according to the library of congress system.
These resources are a bit more challenging to use but will take you to materials you can use to improve your understanding of a topic. These databases will contain scholarly articles from experts in their fields, the results of experiments, and other high level information.
Expect to try multiple search strategies and to use Advanced Search tools to try to find what you're looking for.
Finally, many of the sources will be from scholarly publications that assume a higher level of fluency in a topic so you may need to look up definitions and concepts you're less familiar with.
Don't get discouraged! The writers whose works you are reading followed a very similar process that you are following! Research involves lots of trial and error. Think of it as assembling a coherent narrative out of the pieces of evidence that you can find. The reference pages of scholarly articles represent many, many, many hours of careful searching, reading, and analysis.