Academic Research and Writing: Getting Started

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This guide lists selected electronic and print resources and is intended to provide only a brief overview of the extensive research assistance that is available to students at the University of Toronto Libraries. The links were chosen based on their currency and usefulness to undergraduate students of humanities and social sciences.

See also:
Search the Internet

Begin Your Research

Ask a Reference Librarian
Students are encouraged to book appointments for individual research consultations customized to their research needs. Please submit a request through the Ask Us form.

Subject Guides
The guides are organized by discipline (e.g. English Literature, Political Science) and include descriptions and links to various resources (print and electronic).

Find Journal Articles

Using Databases
An introduction to what electronic periodical databases are and students can use them effectively to find relevant articles. Includes instructions on how to access databases and general tips on searching them.

Find Criticism of an Author’s Work

Guide to Finding Criticism Resources
This guide contains step-by-step instructions on how to locate criticism of an author’s work in the library catalogue and journal indexes.

Book Reviews: Humanities and Social Sciences
Book reviews are an excellent source of assessing the quality of a published work. The guide lists all major book review databases with instructions on how to use them effectively.

Find Primary Sources

History Research
Includes descriptions to major article databases, instructions on how to effectively find primary sources in the library catalogue and in online databases.

Finding Primary Sources
Outlines the differences between primary and secondary sources and contains a list of primary source collections at U of T and online.

Get Help with Writing

Victoria College Writing Centre
The highly qualified instructors are able to assist you at any step of the writing process. Please book an appointment at least two weeks before your assignment is due.

Writing at the University of Toronto
Includes a directory of writing centres, a list of writing courses, as well as advice on all steps of the writing process, with links to further resources.

Research and Essay Writing Guide
Provides the titles and call numbers of manuals to citation styles (APA, MLA, and Chicago). Also contains research and style guides by discipline.

Evaluate Information & Information Sources

Critical Evaluation of Information Resources
Lists five criteria that can be used to determine the usefulness, currency, and objectivity of an information resource (such as a book or an article).

Critical Evaluation of Web Resources
Outlines five criteria that can be used to evaluate the usefulness, currency, and objectivity of a web site.

Cite Resources in My Paper

How to Cite Web Resources
The guide provides examples on how to properly cite a variety of online sources in the MLA style (e.g. books, poems, and articles). Also specifies what information must be typically included in a citation.

Citing Sources / Create Your Bibliography
A comprehensive guide that contains information on all major styles of citation (including APA, MLA, and Chicago).

Develop Effective Study Habits

Tutorial Services: Victoria College
A service that offers free tutorial assistance to Vic students.

Academic Success Centre: University of Toronto
The Centre offers a variety of services (lectures, workshops, individual consultations) to assist students throughout their academic careers.

updated by: Agatha Barc

Last updated: September 9, 2015

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