Research and Documentation in the Digital Age

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  • Edition: 6th
  • Format: Spiral Bound
  • Copyright: 8/14/2014
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's

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With thoroughly revised advice for finding, evaluating, and documenting sources, this handy spiral-bound booklet covers the essential information college students need for research assignments in more than 30 disciplines. New, up-to-date documentation models guide students as they cite common sources and newer sources — such as blogs, podcasts, online videos, and reposted Web content — in one of four documentation styles (MLA, APA, Chicago, and CSE). And new advice and examples help students engage in the research process, find entry points in debates, and develop their authority as researchers. The many examples, according to one college librarian, "are realistic and relevant." Research and Documentation in the Digital Age is the perfect companion to any college textbook.

Author Biography

Diana Hacker personally class-tested her handbooks with nearly four thousand students over thirty-five years at Prince George’s Community College in Maryland, where she was a member of the English faculty. Hacker handbooks, built on innovation and on a keen understanding of the challenges facing student writers, are the most widely adopted in America. Hacker handbooks, all published by Bedford/St. Martin’s, include The Bedford Handbook, Eighth Edition (2010); A Writer’s Reference, Seventh Edition (2011); Rules for Writers, Sixth Edition (2008); and A Pocket Style Manual, Fifth Edition (2008).

Barbara Fister is a professor and librarian at Gustavus Adolphus College, where she directs the library's instruction program, works with the John S. Kendall Center for Engaged Learning, and teaches several courses, including a first-term seminar. She has published widely on information literacy, the future of publishing, and popular reading practices; she also has published a book on third world women's literatures, three novels, and is a weekly columnist for Library Journal and Inside Higher Ed.

Table of Contents


PART I. Research Questions and Search Strategies

Posing a research question

     Choosing a narrow question

     Choosing a challenging question

     Choosing a grounded question

Mapping out a search strategy

     Getting started

     Including the library in your plan

     Choosing an appropriate search strategy

PART II. Finding and Evaluating Sources

Finding sources

Finding articles using a database or print index

     What databases offer

     How to search a database

     When to use a print index

     Finding books in the library’s catalog

Finding a wide variety of sources online

     Search engines


     Digital archives

     Government and news sites



Considering other search tools

     Reference works

Conducting field research


     Surveying opinion

Evaluating Sources

Selecting sources worth your time and attention

     Scanning search results

     Previewing sources

      Distinguishing between primary and secondary sources

Selecting appropriate versions of electronic sources Reading with an open mind and a critical eye

     Being alert for signs of bias

     Assessing the author’s argument

Assessing Web sources with special care


Researching in the Humanities

General resources in the humanities

     Databases and indexes in the

     Web resources in the humanities

     Reference books in the humanities

Art and architecture

     Databases and indexes in art and architecture

     Web resources in art and architecture

     Reference books in art and architecture


     Databases and indexes in classics

     Web resources in classics

     Reference books in classics


     Databases and indexes in literature

     Web resources in literature

     Reference books in literature


     Databases and indexes in music

     Web resources in music

     Reference books in music


     Databases and indexes in philosophy

     Web resources in philosophy

     Reference books in philosophy


     Databases and indexes in religion

     Web resources in religion

     Reference books in religion

Theater, dance, and film

     Databases and indexes in theater, dance, and film

     Web resources in theater, dance, and film

     Reference books in theater, dance, and film

World languages and linguistics

     Databases and indexes in world languages and linguistics

     Web resources in world languages and linguistics

     Reference books in world languages and linguistics

Researching in History

General resources in history

     Databases and indexes in history

     Web resources in history

     Reference books in history

World history

     Databases and indexes in world history

     Web resources in world history

     Reference books in world history

American history

     Databases and indexes in American history

     Web resources in American history

     Reference books in American history

Primary sources

     Databases and indexes: The popular press

     Web resources: Primary documents

     Web resources: Government documents

     Reprint series

Researching in the Social Sciences

General resources in the social sciences

     Databases and indexes in the social sciences

     Web resources in the social sciences

     Reference books in the social sciences


     Databases and indexes in anthropology

     Web resources in anthropology

     Reference books in anthropology

Business and economics

     Databases and indexes in business and economics

     Web resources in business and economics

     Reference books in business and economics

Communication studies

     Databases and indexes in communication studies

     Web resources in communication studies

     Reference books in communication studies

Criminal justice

     Databases and indexes in criminal justice

     Web resources in criminal justice

     Reference books in criminal justice


     Databases and indexes in education

     Web resources in education

     Reference books in education

Ethnic and area studies

     Databases and indexes in ethnic and area studies

     Web resources in ethnic and area studies

     Reference books in ethnic and area studies


     Databases and indexes in geography

     Web resources in geography

     Reference books in geography

     Special resources in geography


     Databases and indexes in law

     Web resources in law

     Reference books in law

Political science

     Databases and indexes in political science

     Web resources in political science

     Reference books in political science


     Databases and indexes in psychology

     Web resources in psychology

     Reference books in psychology


     Databases and indexes in sociology

     Web resources in sociology

     Reference books in sociology

Gender and Women’s Studies

     Databases and indexes in gender and women’s studies

     Web resources in gender and women’s studies

     Reference books in women’s studies

Researching in the Sciences

General resources in the sciences

     Databases and indexes in the sciences

     Web resources in the sciences

     Reference books in the sciences


     Databases and indexes in biology

     Web resources in biology

     Reference books in biology


     Databases and indexes in chemistry

     Web resources in chemistry

     Reference books in chemistry

Computer science

     Databases and indexes in computer science

     Web resources in computer science

     Reference books in computer science


     Databases and indexes in engineering

     Web resources in engineering

     Reference books in engineering

Environmental sciences

     Databases and indexes in environmental sciences

     Web resources in environmental sciences

     Reference books in environmental sciences


     Databases and indexes in geology

     Web resources in geology

     Reference books in geology


     Databases and indexes in mathematics

     Web resources in mathematics

     Reference books in mathematics

Nursing and health sciences

     Databases and indexes in nursing and health sciences

     Web resources in nursing and health sciences

     Reference books in nursing and health sciences

Physics and astronomy

     Databases and indexes in physics and astronomy

     Web resources in physics and astronomy

     Reference books in physics and astronomy

Part IV. Documentation Styles

MLA style: English and other humanities

MLA in-text citations


MLA list of works cited


MLA information notes (optional)

MLA manuscript format

Sample research paper: MLA style

APA style: The social sciences

APA in-text citations


APA list of references


APA manuscript format

Sample research paper: APA style

Chicago style: History

Chicago documentation style


Chicago manuscript format

Sample pages from a research paper: Chicago style

CSE style: Biology and other sciences

CSE documentation systems

CSE in-text citations

CSE reference list


CSE manuscript format

Sample pages: CSE style

List of style manuals

Part V. Glossary of Research Terms

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