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The Research Process

A guide to help develop skills in how to develop a research question and find resources to support your thesis.

Organize and Cite

It's easy to go down the rabbit hole and endlessly search for resources in our information-rich library but you do need to organize them! This could be as simple as creating folders on your computer and saving your links there. A variety of citation management tools are also widely available for free or for a fee.

Citation management tools are software programs that allow you to collect citations for articles, eBooks, webpages, videos, etc., and to create bibliographies in a variety of styles such as APA. Some citation managers also allow you to store source materials such as PDFs, add in-text citations and bibliographies into you papers, and share the citations with others. Saybrook offers RefWorks for free so visit the Writing and Citing page in this library website for information about setting up an account. Other popular citation managers are Zotero and Mendeley, both free, and EndNote which is available for a fee.

Visit the Citation Managers instructional guide for complete information on citation managers and how to choose one.

You may not necessarily need a citation manager for individual course assignments or research papers as keeping them in a list or in your computer folders may suffice for the short term. For more advanced long-term research, such as for your thesis or dissertation, you may want to choose a citation manager to help you keep track of a lot more resources!

Citing sources is important for several reasons:

  • To acknowledge the work of others
  • To show your reader you have done due diligence in researching your topic
  • To avoid plagiarism and uphold academic integrity
  • To enable readers of your work to seek out the sources of your information and locate them as well

Cite sources when you:

  • Use an exact quote
  • Restate or paraphrase and idea from a resource
  • Summarize a work

All sources should be included in the References page.