The Library at St. Cloud State University

COLL 150: Discovering the College Experience

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
Getting Started with Research
Research Tips and Tutorials
Tutorials and guides help you get started with your research, including how to find scholarly journals and utilize library resources and services.

Research Guides (By Subject or Course Number)
Guides for doing research in a particular subject area (Art, Education, Social Work, etc.) or for a specific course.

Find academic-level topics using one of the following resources:

Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center Restricted Resource Some full text availabledatabase
Provides overviews and multiple points of view on contemporary social issues. Includes viewpoint articles as well as articles from popular magazines, academic journals, newspapers, and primary sources.

Points of View Reference Center Restricted Resource Some full text availableelm database
This full-text reference resource presents multiple sides on current controversial topics. Each topic may include topical essays, supporting articles, primary source documents, images, and videos.

CQ Researcher Restricted Resource Some full text availabledatabase
Reliable, unbiased, and in-depth information on a wide variety of current issues. Excellent for browsing hot topics.
What is a Scholarly Article?
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
Choose a citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian ...) and follow the guidelines for formatting your paper and references.
Do you have a question about research?
Search for Books
Search for books, eBooks, music, ...

Advanced Search

Find Articles
Academic Search Premier (all topics) from EBSCO Restricted Resource Some full text availablefindit elm database
Academic Search Premier (ASP) contains indexing for nearly 8,050 publications, with full text for more than 4,600 of those titles. ASP provides full-text coverage 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.

ProQuest Newspapers Restricted Resource Some full text availablefindit database
Fulltext of 300+ U.S. and international news sources. Includes the New York Times (1999 to present), The Times of London (index and abstract only), the Wall Street Journal (1984 to present), and the StarTribune of Minneapolis (1986 to present).

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