Rose Library - Cleveland Community College


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What is Information Literacy?

Information Literacy Learning Outcomes

This rubric provides three levels of learning outcomes that can be used to measure how well a paper or project meets standard information literacy criteria.

View rubric here.

Explore ProQuests Research Companion Tutorial Videos here.

Accomplish Your Purpose... A Great Project!

As a short introduction to planning you paper or project, this video suggests mind-mapping and various other techniques to help you get started.

5 Steps to the Writing Process

To help you get started this video discusses five steps in the writing process: pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing.

A Good Research Topic...

...fits the assignment instructions. What does you instructor ask you to do for your research assignment?

Analyze Identify and discuss the parts of a topic.
Argue Take a clear position on a topic or aspect of a topic.
Compare Discuss similarities and differences within or between topics.
Define Identify the meaning of a topic and describe its qualities.
Review Summarize and discuss the main points of a topic.

... is interesting to the reader. For the writer, a good research topic may:

  • Be more enjoyable to work on.
  • Feel easier to work on.
  • Be more memorable in the future.
  • Be significant to the writer personally.

Choosing a Manageable Research Topic

What is a Thesis Statement?

The thesis is usually a single sentence somewhere in your first paragraph that presents your argument to the reader. The rest of the paper, the body, gathers and organizes evidence that will try to persuade the reader to the logic of your interpretation of the topic. The thesis:

  • Tells the reader what to expect from the rest of your paper.
  • Directly answers the question asked of you. It's a interpretation of a subject, not the subject itself.
  • Makes a claim others might dispute.

Defining a Thesis Statement

Forming a Research Question

  1. Start with a topic.
  2. Narrow and focus your topic.
  3. Formulate a question you want to ask about your topic.
  4. Narrow the question, if possible.

Developing a Research Question that Works

Ten Basic Steps in Building a Research Strategy

  1. Identify the important concepts of your research.
  2. Choose the keywords that describe these concepts.
  3. Determine whether there are synonyms, related terms, or other variations of the keywords that should be included.
  4. Determine which search features may apply, including truncation, proximity operators, Boolean operators, expression search, and so forth. (See "Boolean, Phrase and Truncation Tools" tab for further help.)
  5. Choose a relevant database, library catalogue, etc.
  6. Read the search instructions of the database's home page. Look for sections entitled "Help,
     "Advanced Search," "Frequently Asked Questions,"
    and so forth.
  7. Create a search expression, using syntax, which is appropriate for the search tool.
  8. Evaluate the results. How many hits were returned? Were the results relevant to your question?
  9. Modify your search if needed. Go back to steps 2-4 and revise your question accordingly.
  10. Try the same search in a different database, following steps 5-9 above.

Choosing and Using Key Words

Use these search techniques and tools to connect keywords, and create a search statement that brings better results.

Boolean Operators

Phrase Searching and Truncation


Searching Google and Library Databases

A Few Databases Available at Rose Library

Image of NC Live Logo. Click to view database. A collection of databases and resources providing electronic access to article, eBooks, audiobooks, videos, language learning tools, reference sources and research material.
Image of Credo Reference Logo. Click to view database. Reference books covering arts, sciences, literature, culture, philosophy and more!
Image of Gale in Context Oposing View  point logo. Click to view database. Information on current events, controversial topics and argument-based research. Covering topics including science, culture, politics, religion, ethics, medicine and business.

To view a complete list of databases offered by Rose Library, click here.

Primary Sources

  • Original documents that provide first-hand knowledge of an event.
  • Always created at, or close to, the time of the event.
  • Examples: diaries, letters, speeches, interviews, photographs

Secondary Sources

  • Created after an event and often refer to primary sources.
  • Authors do not have first-hand knowledge, and depends on primary sources information.
  • Examples: biographies, textbooks, books, journal articles, films

Primary vs. Secondary Sources

Finding Books in the Catalog

Locating Information in Books

Table of Contents

  • Usually found at the beginning of a book after the title page.
  • List of chapters with page references.
  • Chapter title can provide clues about more in-depth information in a chapter.


  • Usually located at the end of a book or set of books.
  • Alphabetical listing of special subjects, along with page reference on which more in-depth information can be found.

You can browse the Rose Library Catalog here.

Searching Summons

Where to Access eBooks

You can access Rose Library eBooks here.

Periodical Types

Peer Reviewed  Articles

Does your information pass the CRAP Test?


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What is Plagiarism?

" steal or pass off as one's own (the idea or words of another); use (a created production) without crediting the sources; to commit literary theft; present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source..."

Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language

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Academic Integrity

Quoting, Paraphrasing and Summarizing

Why We Cite Sources

How to do MLA In-Text Citations

How to Do APA In-Text Citations

Two common styles in which you will be asked to format your research papers and citations are:

  • Modern Language Association (MLA)
    • Used mainly in the humanities (literature, music, philosophy, art, history, etc.)
  • American Psychological Association (APA)
    • Used mainly in the sciences, medicine and psychology

Click on a style below to view the library's research guide for each style:

Incorporating Sources


Research Consultations

Research assistance is available on a walk-in basis at the Library Support Desk during the Library's regular hours. However, if you are working on a detailed and complex research assignment you may find it beneficial to set up a Research Consultation to meet one-on-one with a Tutor to discuss your questions or project.

Please note, Research Consultations are available to current CCC students, faculty and staff only.

Scheduling a Research Consultation

Click on the ACE Lab Appointment App on your Apps panel and start a new appointment. You can also text or call (980) 404-9736.

ACE Lab Logo. Click here to visit ACE Lab's website and to make an appointment.

Image of ProQuest Logo Browse through ProQuest's Research Companion Videos to get help with each step of the writing process.