Identify and Develop Your Topic
Part of Cornell University's Seven Steps to Effective Library Research.
Selecting a Research Topic
Weber State University's suggestions for topics.
The first resource to use to find books is the Rose State College Online Catalog. The online catalog is a database of records for books, periodicals, audio and video materials and other items that make up the holdings of the LRC.
You can search the catalog by title, author, subject, keyword or call number. To begin a search, you must define what type of search you wish to perform by changing the SEARCH FIELD (title, author, subject, or call number). Next, input your search term in the WORD(S) field, omitting the initial articles (a, an, or the) in the title, then click the SEARCH button.
(author) hemingway, ernest
(title) sun also rises
(subject) oklahoma history
(call number) F694.P45
To search by keyword, you must click on the KEYWORD tab. Change the SEARCH FIELD(s) to the desired fields you wish to search (author, title, subject, or all). Next input your search term(s) and click on the SEARCH button. Searching Tip: For best results select ALL for your SEARCH FIELD(s).
You may wish to use Interlibrary Loan to order titles not available at the LRC, or you may prefer to find alternate titles that are readily available here. There is a one to two-week minimum turnaround time for interlibrary loan requests. Check at the reference desk for further information. Forms are available online at Interlibrary Loan.
An OK-Share card is available at the Circulation Desk. RSC students, faculty and staff may use other academic libraries in this area: OK-Share Program.
WorldCat is the database used to borrow interlibrary loan materials, listing books and journals around the world:
The OPAC includes records for all the periodicals and serials which are received in the LRC.
Search for these items the same way that you search for the title of a book. Be sure to use the complete name of the title. Do not use the title abbreviations you find in periodical indexes. As with books, omit the initial article (a, an, or the) in the title.
FOR THIS TITLE: The Political Science Quarterly
DO THIS SEARCH: political science quarterly (omit initial article)
FOR THIS TITLE: Journal of Abnormal Psychology
DO THIS SEARCH: journal of abnormal psychology
Periodicals are continuous publications such as journals, newspapers, or magazines. They are issued regularly (daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly). The Rose State LRC Catalog includes records for all the periodicals that are received by the LRC. The Catalog does not include information about the articles within those periodicals. To find a periodical article, use periodical databases or indexes.
When you do not have a citation to a specific article, but you do want to find articles on a subject, by a specific author or authors or with a known article title, you can use one or more periodical indexes. How do you know which periodical index to use?
All hardcopy periodicals in the LRC are shelved alphabetically by title in the south end of the first floor. Back issues of periodicals are kept on microfilm and are shelved next to the hardcopies. If you cannot find what you want, ask at the reference desk.
DOD Dictionary of Military Terms
The Encyclopedia Britannica is a highly respected encyclopedia. (Off-campus access is available to RSC faculty and students with an active network login.)
Online medical dictionary.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus
OneLook Dictionary Search
Search hundreds of dictionaries at once.
Oxford English Dictionary
The Oxford English Dictionary is the accepted authority on the evolution of the English language over the last millennium. (Off-campus access is available to RSC faculty and students with an active network login.)
Quotations at Bartleby.com
Online reference resources.
A hyper-linked dictionary of computer and Internet terms.
A web-based, free encyclopedia. (Professors might not permit use of this encyclopedia, because anyone can edit the entries.)
Foreign Language Dictionaries and Translators
Acronyms and Abbreviations
The Cambridge History of English and American Literature
Sixth Edition - An online version of the Columbia Encyclopedia.
English and Foreign language dictionaries.
Evaluate What You Have Found
From Cornell University's Hypertext Guide Library.
Evaluating Health Information
Recommended tutorials and links from MedlinePlus.
From the Harvard Guide to Using Sources.
Evaluating Your Sources
Covers articles, books, and websites. From the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill library.
Finding Information on the Internet Tutorial
From UC Berkeley Library. Includes checklists.
Five Criteria for Evaluating Web Sites
From Cornell University Libraries.
Information and Its Counterfeits: Propaganda, Misinformation and Disinformation
From Johns Hopkins University.
Updated MLA Style Sheet (sample citations)
Updated APA Style Sheet (sample citations)
Check the online databases. Many of them print and save citations in various citation formats. Word 2007 and 2010 have a Bibliography and Work Cited Tool: References and Citations in Word 2007 Tutorial