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This is a brief introduction to research in the Library, how to decide on a research topic, how to find relevant materials and how to cite them.

Chicago Manual of Style

When writing a research paper, you will be expected to use materials written by experts on that topic.  Using other’s works demonstrates that you have read what the experts have written on the topic, and adds credibility to your project. 

You are expected to cite your sources, i.e., give these authors credit when you use their materials. This list of resources will allow others to look at the sources you used if they want to find more information on your topic.  Another very important reason to cite your sources is that it will protect you from accusations of plagiarism.

A bibliography or a list of works cited comes at the end of your paper and is usually arranged alphabetically by the author’s last name.  It is necessary to use a uniform, consistent, and acceptable style when writing a bibliography. 

MLA is one of the more common citation styles. Follow that citation style exactly when citing every source for your research paper.  

Some disciplines will require you to use the Chicago Manual of Style, or  APA, AMA  style or some other citation style.  Before writing a research paper, ask your instructor what citation style you should use. Whichever style your instructor asks you to use, all will include enough information for the reader to find the book, article or website. 

All citations will include the author’s name, the title of the book or periodical, the title of the periodical article and the publication date.

Turabian is a simplified version of the Chicago style that is primarily designed for students writing research papers.

The Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide is online at

Additional information on Chicago/Turabian style may be found at these websites: