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Academic Writing

This LibGuide was designed to provide you with assistance in citing your sources when writing an academic paper.

Steps of the Research Process

The following steps outline a simple and effective strategy for finding information for a research paper and documenting the sources you find. Depending on your topic and your familiarity with the library, you may need to rearrange or recycle these steps. Adapt this outline to your needs. We are ready to help you at every step in your research.

STEP 1: IDENTIFY AND DECONSTRUCT YOUR TOPIC

State your topic as a question. For example, if you are interested in finding out about use of alcoholic beverages by college students, you might pose the question, "What effect does use of alcoholic beverages have on the health of college students?" Identify the main concepts or keywords in your question.

STEP 2: FIND BACKROUND INFORMATION

Look up your keywords in the indexes to subject encyclopedias. Read articles in these encyclopedias to set the context for your research. Note any relevant items in the bibliographies at the end of the encyclopedia articles. Additional background information may be found in your lecture notes, textbooks, and reserve readings.

STEP 3: USE LIBRARY CATALOG TO FIND ARTICLES, BOOKS, JOURNALS

Use guided keyword searching to find materials by topic or subject. Print or write down the citation (author, title,etc.) and the location information (call number and library). Note the circulation status. When you pull the book from the shelf, scan the bibliography for additional sources. Watch for book-length bibliographies and annual reviews on your subject; they list citations to hundreds of books and articles in one subject area. 

STEP 4: USE the inKUire TO FIND PDF ARTICLES

Use the Suna Kıraç Library's inKUire federated search box to find and download pdf articles and e-books.You can find the articles and books by the article title or keyword by using the inKUire via the Library homepage. You can filter your search by content, document format, databases, author names, publication year, language and topic. The inKUire search engine also provides you the reference of the articles/books to cite them on your paper easily.

STEP 5: EVALUATE SOURCES AND WRITE A DRAFT

If you have found too many or too few sources, you may need to narrow or broaden your topic. Check with a reference librarian or your instructor to evaluate the sources that you find during the search according to currency, relevancy, authority, accuracy and purpose. 

STEP 6: FIND ADDITIONAL INTERNET RESOURCES

Nearly everyone is aware of and uses Google and its branches, Google Scholar, Google Books etc., to search and find information on the open Internet (as opposed to the subscription-only resources you will encounter in steps 2 through 4 above). 

You can also check to see if there is a Libguide created by reference librarians specifically for your topic or your class that links to recommended resources.

STEP 7: CITE WHAT YOU FIND USING A STANDARD FORMAT

Give credit where credit is due; cite your sources.

Citing or documenting the sources used in your research serves two purposes, it gives proper credit to the authors of the materials used, and it allows those who are reading your work to duplicate your research and locate the sources that you have listed as references.

Knowingly representing the work of others as your own is plagiarism. Use one of the styles listed below or another style approved by your instructor. This Academic Writing guide is summarizing the most used citation styles such as APA and MLA styles. 

Suna Kıraç Library offers trainings of Koç Universtiy licensed citation management tools such as EndNote and Mendeley Institutional Edition. You can follow Library's instructions and seminars page to register one of the trainings that are held durind the academic semesters.

For the course outlines please visit Libguides pages of Mendeley Institutional Edition : Basic Level Training and EndNoteX9: Training Series