Writing Your First Paper

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Begin Your Research

Ask a Reference Librarian
Students are encouraged to book appointments with our librarians for individual research consultations tailored to their research needs. 

Consult a Reference Source
Academic reference sources (such as encyclopedias, dictionaries and handbooks) are valuable resources for selecting a topic of research. In addition, they can also assist you in identifying specific aspects of a broader subject to narrow down the scope of your research. 

The University of Toronto Libraries website lists reference sources categorized by discipline in alphabetical order (look under “Dictionaries”) However, the lists are not comprehensive and may not cover all topics within each discipline. Students should seek assistance from a reference librarian or use LibrarySearch to locate relevant reference sources for their research topic. 

Subject Guides & Course Guides
A list of the best research resources for specific courses and programs of study. 

Find Books

A single integrated search platform providing access to library collections in print and digital formats including books, journal articles, videos and other types of publications.

Find Journal Articles

Journal Databases by Discipline
Also known as “journal indexes,” these research tools contain full-text journal and newspaper articles, book chapters, conference proceedings, and other types of publications.

Use this tool to determine whether a particular journal title is popular, scholarly, and/or peer-reviewed. 

Find Primary Sources

Primary Sources at the University of Toronto Libraries
A comprehensive guide with instructions on how to effectively find and interpret primary sources.

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
Book reviews are an excellent source of assessing the quality of a published work. The guide provides instructions on how to locate them effectively.

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

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

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.

Develop Research & Writing Skills 

Develop Your Scholarly Voice: Research & Writing Seminars
Each session in this suite of four interactive seminars integrates the learning of academic research and writing skills and is taught by a librarian in collaboration with a writing instructor.

The goal of each seminar is to help you develop your own voice as an emerging scholar by enabling you to identify, situate and substantiate your arguments in the context of the scholarly discussion taking place in your discipline.

Develop Effective Study Habits

Essential Study Skills
A comprehensive annotated bibliography with ebooks on online resources on taking lecture and research notes, participating in class discussions, presenting, preparing for exams, and other strategies for succeeding academically.

Victoria College Office of the Registrar and Academic Advising
Tutorial and academic support services for students enrolled at the College.

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

created by: Agatha Barc | reviewed & updated: 27 October 2023

Last updated: October 27, 2023