Research Writing

FAQ | Ask Us | Faculty Services | Requesting and Borrowing | Research and Writing
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How do I cite sources using MLA and/or APA?

How do I find information about plagiarism?

Plagiarism occurs when you present someone else's words or ideas as your own. Plagiarism can be accidental or intentional, and is taken very seriously as a form of academic dishonesty. It may result in a zero or F grade for the assignment containing plagiarism.

It is important to make sure that you acknowledge when information you are presenting comes from other people or authors. This is why citations are an essential part of your paper or presentation.

For more information and an excellent guide to avoiding plagiarism, you can view the Portland State Library website at: Library Guide for Student Research: Avoid Plagiarism

Is there software that I can use to manage my citations?

There are many options for online citation management. We recommend either using either of the following choices:


Citation Machine:

How do I start my research?

Click HERE to print out our Saddleback Library Research Project Worksheet.

Here are some suggested approaches to starting your research project:

  1. Go to the Baylor University Research Paper Planner to create a schedule and organize your project:
  2. Attend a Saddleback College Library workshop on Planning Your Research:
  3. Schedule a face to face appointment with one of our librarians. Stop by the reference desk during library hours or call at: (949) 582-4525 or sign-up online.

How do I pick a topic?

  1. Be familiar with your assignment.
  2. Consider going to Google or Wikipedia to do some pre-searching on your topic, its context, and possible related topics to help narrow your topic.
  3. Try searching in Credo in the Find a Topic Page.
  4. Go to the Article Databases Link
  5. Scroll down to: Academic OneFile
  6. Enter your keywords and click the “to documents with full text” option
  7. Click the magnifying glass
  8. Look for a possible topic listed in bold and then click the green plus under the topic for subdivisions. The subdivisions list will give you ideas for your topic as well as the number of articles related to each possible topic.

How do I find a book?

  1. Start at the library home page.
  2. Type the book title or author in the search box in the middle of the page
  3. click go
  4. At this point, you can scroll through the list to find your book or use the left panel to narrow your search.
  5. Note that on the main library page, you can also use the pull down menu in the search box in order to search IVC as well as libraries worldwide. We can request items through Inter-Library Loan. Talk with a librarian to get assistance with this process at the reference desk or call at (949) 582-4525.

What if the item I need is not available at this library?

We recommend looking for your book in the following libraries. The first three can be accessed from the Saddleback College Library home page by using the pull-down menu under the search box.

  1. Saddleback College Library
  2. IVC Library
  3. WorldCat libraries around the world
  4. Orange County Public Library:
  5. Mission Viejo Library:
  6. Google Books
  7. Last resort: search to see if you can purchase the book.

How do I find full-text articles?

  1. One approach to finding articles is through the Saddleback College Library catalog.
    • Start at the Library homepage
    • Find the search box in the middle of the page
    • Type your topic in the search box and click Go
    • Click the “Full text” box on the left so that you can access the entire article online
    • Scroll through the list of articles and click on any of them to view the full article
    • You may also use the panel on the left side of the screen to narrow your search
  2. Use any of the library’s article databases.
  3. A third approach to finding scholarly or peer-reviewed articles would be to search Google Scholar.

What does it mean for an article to be considered scholarly or peer-reviewed? How do I find scholarly or peer-reviewed journals/articles?

A peer-reviewed or scholarly article is one that has gone through a stringent review process prior to being published. When searching for articles, if you are required to use peer-reviewed articles, select the “Peer-reviewed or scholalry” box is checked in the left panel of the search results. You can follow these instructions:

  1. Start at the Library homepage
  2. Look at the search box in the middle of the page
  3. Type your topic in the search box and click go
  4. Next, confirm that the “Peer-reviewed or scholarly” box is checked and continue your search.

For more information on popular vs. scholarly articles, you can view the following website:
Popular vs. Scholarly Articles - Guide - University of Arizona


How do I find and read eBooks?

To find eBooks and read them on your computer (or other devices) you can follow these instructions:

  1. Start at the library home page.
  2. Type the book title or author in the search box in the middle of the page
  3. Click Go
  4. On the left panel, under Format, first unclick Book, then click eBook
  5. Click on the book title
  6. Click view ebook - At this point, the interface may change based on the original provider of the book.

If you have problems viewing the book online, feel free to ask for help at the reference desk: (949) 582-4525. Please note: All ebooks at the Saddleback College library can be read on computers and laptops. Depending on the format of the ebook, you may also be able to view them on your tablets or smartphones.

Can I use Google and/or Wikipedia for my research?

First and foremost, you should always check with your professor to ask if it’s permitted to use Google or Wikipedia to find resources for your project. We recommend using Google and Wikipedia for the pre-search stage of your paper. When you are trying to find and define a topic, Wikipedia can be the quickest source to get basic information, history, context and a list of related topics. In addition, Google will bring up commonly read articles based on their complex search algorithm. These sites may be excellent starting points in your research process, but you will often need to use the other search techniques outlined on this page in order to find appropriate/necessary resources for your college project. You should always be familiar with the types of articles required by your professor and make sure that you follow the assignment requirements.