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Check these points while you work on your research in order to keep on track. The steps below can be completed in any order that you might find useful.

  Explore for Ideas
  Find Background Information
  Identify Relevant Vocabulary
  Refine Your Topic
  What Additional Information is needed?
  Evaluate Your Sources
  Cite your Sources (Style Manuals)


 Explore for Ideas
Resources for identifying a topic:

 • Recommended Reference Sources:
-10,000 Ideas for Term Papers, Projects, Reports and Speeches
This reference tool covers 10,000 ideas in over 130 different subject areas. It is available in the Library in the Reference Collection at: R808.0219 L213 1998
-Encyclopaedia Britannica
Encyclopaedia Britannica Online includes the complete encyclopedia. An older edition in print is available in the library.

 • Current Periodicals (Magazines, newspapers, journals and online news sources such as Cyprus Weekly, Phileleftheros, etc.)
 • Your own interests or hobbies

Find Background Information
The most common sources for gathering background information are reference materials such as encyclopaedias, almanacs, handbooks, etc. You can  locate these tools by using our online catalog, InterCAT, or by asking the reference librarian to suggest a title or to look at several sources online. (Searching through textbooks too can give you background information. As you go through the material, put down variations of vocabulary used when the topic is described. These will help you search for more information).

Identify Variations of Vocabulary
What are the descriptors or keywords that describe your topic?

Example: I’m studying how television affects children’s development.

Keywords or Descriptors:

television children development
media infants upbringing
picture kindergarten students psychology
advertising girls/boys behaviour
mass communication students growth

Refine Your Topic
Explain what you are writing about (Topic)
e.g “I’m studying how television affects children’s development”.

Explain what you do not know about the topic .
e.g “I’m studying how television affects children’s development because I want to find out how it influences teenagers”.

Explain what you want to know about the topic. (State the rationale for the question and what you intend to get out of its answer.)
e.g “I’m studying how television affects children’s development because I want to find out how it influences violence in teenagers.”

What Additional Information is needed?
It is important to choose the right resources for your topic. Ask your professor and/or a librarian to guide you in locating suitable materials for your research. Some of the resources you can check are:

2.Popular Magazines and Newspapers
3.Reference Sources
4.Scholarly Journals
5.Web Sources

1. Books
– Use the InterCAT Catalog to find books on your topic. Books provide historical background, definitions and an overview. In books you can find various points of view, especially if there are more than one authors. To learn more, go to "Orientation Classes and Tours" and read on "How to find a book" and "Get acquainted with the parts of our library".

2. Popular Magazines and Newspapers – These sources provide current information. Publications such as "Newsweek", "Psychology Today", "Cyprus Weekly" and a variety of others are considered popular magazines and newspapers. Most of these publications appear frequently, many published weekly, and the vocabulary in these sources is simple. 

Characteristics of Popular Magazines
• Authors are journalists or freelance writers
• Short articles
• Articles do not contain a bibliography or references
• Readers are general public
• Publications are mostly weekly
• A big number of color advertisements and illustrations
• Articles are for entertainment or informative
• No peer review process
• Very simple vocabulary

3. Reference Sources – Encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, etc. are useful tools for finding background information, quick facts, statistics, terms, definitions, a map or broad overview of your topic. Check out the bibliographies which can be found at the ends of books and journal articles. A bibliography can also be an entire book.

Some examples of reference sources are:
Statistical Abstract of the World (R310 S797 1997)
International Encyclopedia of Elections (R324.603 I61 2000)

4. Scholarly Journals
- These sources are often referred to as “peer reviewed” or “refereed”. This refers to having experts in the field examine journal articles before accepting them for publication. Most articles focus on research reports, methodology and theory. These are published 2 – 4 times per year, and the authors are authorities in their fields.

Characteristics of Scholarly Journals:
• Authors are specialists in their field
• Lengthy articles of pages up to 50 or more
• Authors cite their sources in references or bibliographies
• Readers are specialists in the field
• Publications appear only 2 or 4 times a year
• Most have no or very little advertising

Examples include: Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Harvard Law Review

5. Web Sources
– A web page can be used for any subject, but it varies in quality and reliability. Remember – anyone can create a Web page and there’s no rule that says the information is accurate. Therefore, it is critical to evaluate the information sources found on the Web.

Here are a few points to remember when using Web sources:

• Currency – When was it produced? When was it updated? How up-to-date are the links?
• Authority – Who wrote the page and can you contact him/her? What is the purpose?
• Accuracy – Is the information presented cited or footnoted correctly?
• Objectivity – What opinions are expressed by the author? Why was this written and for whom.

 Evaluate Your Sources
Evaluate the authority and quality of the books, articles and Web sites you locate. Ask yourself the following questions:

What is the source of the information?
Who is the author or publisher?
How recent is the material?

How to avoid Plagiarism

Plagiarism is passing off someone else’s work as your own, without giving credit to the person who produced the work.

When you write a paper you are to put something of yourself, your ideas and beliefs in it.  You want your paper to be original, to be the result of your own research and evaluation, to be what you have found to be true for yourself.

To avoid plagiarism, when given an assignment, you cite references you have found and create a list with these references (reference list) so that whoever reads your work can return to that source at a later date, and read the material themselves.  In this way the reader knows that you have used the ideas of someone else to help you support your own.  Since you are using someone else’s work for your own benefit, you need to refer to that author or work.  It is academically unacceptable and also illegal to present the work of others as your own and the university reserves the right to penalize anyone who steals the work of someone else.

What to avoid:

  • Copying word for word someone else’s work

  • Using a phrase or sentence from someone else without giving the reference

  • Downloading material from the internet and presenting it as your own

  • Paying someone else to do the work for you

  • Copying the work or project of another student

Therefore, you need to make sure that you cite the references to your sources - that is, you give credit to the person who originally came up with the original work or idea

There are various ways of referencing and output styles you can use to cite the original work or idea. The most common output styles used for our courses are the Chicago Manual of Style or APA style. Consult your lecturer which output style to use. Warning! Make sure you use the correct output style when copying the reference from your saved list to your work

How to create and manage your references:

There are two ways to create and manage your list of references for your written work:

  1. Manually, in which case you should, while studying, record the details of the sources you find and save them so that you can track them later. Find a method to organize your references, by saving them into a word processing file, or using social bookmarking tools.

  2. Using a bibliographic management tool like RefWorks, which helps create your bibliography by formatting and exporting your references into your document

Intellectual property law/Νόμος Περί Πνευματικής Ιδιοκτησίας

Cite Your Sources
Proper citation of sources is an important part of research. Check the reference collection of our Library for style manuals, the on-line links below or our own guide to Citation Style Manual.   For more help ask the reference librarian.

For more information check the following sources:
APA Style Manual (5th Edition) (Publication of the American Psychological Association)
[R808.06615 P976 2001] (Located in the Reference Collection of our Library)

Chicago Manual of Style Guide
[R808.027 C532 2003] (Located in the Reference Collection of our Library)

MLA Style Guide – Modern Language Association
[R808.027 G437 1998] (Located in the Reference Collection of our Library)

Wikipedia: Citing Sources

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