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The Research Process: Step 9

An overview of the Research Process, which includes information about search strategies, how to choose and refine topics, kinds of resources, and citing sources


Download Worksheets (PDF) detailing The Research Process.  To view the file, you will need Acrobat Reader, which you can download for free from Adobe.


MLA-style and APA-style guidelines change over time, especially for citing sources accessed electronically.  For the most up-to-date information about how to cite sources correctly, visit these pages:

Using a citation generator from a database or website?
Doublecheck to be sure the generator has used the newest rules.

Citation Styles

There are many standard methods—or styles—for composing citations.  These citation styles dictate the order of the information in the citation, as well as punctuation and other formatting.  Citation style is often related to your field of study, but always verify with your instructor which style to use.

  • Use MLA style citations for literature, arts, and humanities.  Consult the library’s pamphlet, “How to Cite Sources: MLA Style,” or ask at the reference desk for the authoritative text: 

MLA Handbook. 8th ed., Modern Language Association of America, 2016.

  • Use APA style citations for psychology, education, and other social sciences.  Consult the library’s pamphlet, “How to Cite Sources: APA Style,” or ask at the reference desk for the authoritative text:

American Psychological Association. (2009). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

  • Use Chicago style citations for non-scholarly publications, like general interest books, magazines, and newspapers.  Ask at the reference desk for the authoritative text:

The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010.

NOTE: Other standard citation styles include Turabian, Council of Scientific Editors, American Sociological Association and American Medical Association

Research Assistance

More ways to get help:

Library photo courtesy of Barry Halkin Photography