University Library at St. Cloud State University

INTS 1155: Student Success Seminar

University vs. High School Research

Features of college-level research vs. high-school research:
  • More in-depth coverage of a topic vs. a report or description of a topic
  • Makes an "argument" or "claim" and supports it with "evidence" from scholarly sources
  • Considers many different arguments
  • Can be "primary" (based on first-hand investigation) or "secondary" (examines studies others have conducted on a subject)
  • Requires use of a broad range of online and print resources
  • Focuses on the use of scholarly, "peer-reviewed" sources that are "written and critiqued by experts in a particular field"
Features of college-level papers vs. high-school papers:
  • No set number of points; can use as many paragraphs as necessary
  • Paragraphs are longer, between 1/3 and 2/3 of a page, depending on the argument
  • Topic sentence sums up the paragraph's main point
Picking Your Topic IS Research
Choose and Explore a Topic
Find academic-level topics using one of the following resources:
Points of View Reference Center Restricted Resource Some full text availableelm database
Presents multiple sides on current controversial topics. Each topic may include topical essays, supporting articles, primary source documents, images, and videos.

Find facts about the topic:
Credo Reference Restricted Resource Some full text availabledatabase eref ebook
Provides online access to over 500 reference books (encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, etc.) in all subject areas. This is the premier place to look up a quick fact or to search for background information on a research topic.
Understanding scholarly journals
Journal covers image

From Idea to Library
Video tutorial on how scholarly articles are written, published, and made accessible to researchers and students. From the NCSU Libraries.

Popular Magazines vs. Trade Magazines vs. Scholarly Journals (CSU) Unrestricted Resource
Provides general criteria that can be used to distinguish between popular magazines, trade magazines, and scholarly journals.

Peer Review in 3 Minutes (video) Unrestricted Resource
How do articles get peer reviewed? What role does peer review play in scholarly research and publication? This video from NCSU Libraries explains.

What is a Scholarly Article? from Kimbel Library on Vimeo.

Cite Your Sources

Why Citation is Important from Kimbel Library on Vimeo.

When you write papers for your college classes, it is extremely important to cite your sources using a particular citation style. APA and MLA are examples of commonly used citation styles. Always ask your professor what style you should use.

Citation Styles Old
Choose a citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian ...) and follow the guidelines for formatting your paper and references.
Research and Writing Assistance
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Library Access from Off Campus
View instructions and get help with troubleshooting.

Student Study Rooms
Reserve student study rooms for group work, available on the second and third floors of the Library.

Equipment Check Out
VIsit the Circulation Desk to borrow digital cameras, camcorders, projectors, and other equipment.

Husky Fetch
Place a hold on the books you want using the Library’s Books and More catalog, and Husky Fetch will fetch them for you.

Write Place
Make an appointment with a writing tutor.
Find Articles
LibSearch Unrestricted Resource Some full text availabledatabase
Search the library's physical collection (books, movies, music, government publications, etc.) along with online journals and e-books to which the Library subscribes -- all in a single search.

Academic Search Premier (all topics) from EBSCO Restricted Resource Some full text availablefindit elm database
Full-text articles in biology, chemistry, education, engineering, humanities, physics, psychology, religion and theology, sociology, etc. Tip: Click the check box to limit to Academic (Peer Reviewed) Journals.

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