Research Help

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Library (22) Professional Reference Librarians are available to assist you with your reference related questions. You may converse with them at the Reference desk, by phone at 886-6418, or via email at

General Resources

Book Catalog
Search the book catalog here.

Or use this specialized search box:

Classrooms & Common Areas

Classroom Instruction

Information Literacy Seminars are available on a variety of levels and are tailored to the specific needs of the course and assignment. To schedule one of these instructional sessions, instructors can use this link, contact their Liaison Librarian, or can call the Reference Desk at 886-6478.

Library classes can be scheduled as far in advance of the session as the instructor prefers. To insure your preferred date, make your request as soon as possible. Seminars must be requested at least 24 hours in advance.

For iPad or technology sessions, please use this form.  Sessions can be tailored to your needs.

Learning Commons Report Request

This form is used to request specific information about a student’s tutoring record. Please allow 3-5 days for processing. Due to FERPA restrictions information may not be available for all students. If you are requesting 20 or more reports, please contact Theresa Spanella directly. Otherwise, submit one form per request.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Course Number

Student Name

Student ID Number

Date Report Needed By

Specific Information Requested
(Example: Tutoring Attendance for NU220 between July 6th and Aug 4th)

Library Liaisons

Subject Liaisons /Librarians can help you with course specific information literacy sessions, subject specific reference questions, orders for books and other materials in your subject area, and generally keeping you informed about library resources and services.  While you may contact any library staff member with a question, think of your liaison as you individual go-to person for anything library related.

Faculty and Staff Teaching and Learning Workshops

The library is piloting professional development workshops for faculty and staff this fall.  These workshops cover a wide range of topics relevant to teaching and learning.

Individual Databases
Search the databases here.


Writing Tips

Choosing Topics

1. Brainstorm possible topic ideas

  • Consider your personal interests.
  • Engage in conversations in class or with classmates.
  • Read articles in encyclopedias or dictionaries and review class readings.
  • Browse recent issues of journals or magazines from the Current Periodicals shelves, located to the left of the Circulation Desk when you enter the Library.
  • Browse the shelves for books on your subject (see the Library of Congress Classification System listing to know where to look).

2. Review assignment requirements

  • What kind of assignment is it – 5 minute oral presentation, 10 page paper, 50 page paper?
  • How much information do you need?
  • Does it need to be recent information?
  • What types of publications do you want to read – newspaper articles, books, journal articles, diaries, trade publications?
  • What formats do you need – visual, audio, printed, electronic?
  • Is point of view an issue? Do you need opinions?
  • How much time do you have?

3. List keyword to define your topic

  • State your research topic as a question.
  • Think about the significant terms, concepts, and keywords that describe your topic. These terms will become the key for searching for information about your subject in library catalogs, online databases, and other resources.
  • Sample keywords for research topic “How did New Deal programs influence the arts in America?”:
    • New Deal
    • United States
    • Depression
    • Art
    • Federal Aid to the Arts

4. Gather background information on your topic

It’s hard to get started if you don’t know much about your topic. Do some general reading in things like encyclopedias and subject-specific dictionaries to get an overview of the topic. This is also a great first step towards refining your topic.

This guide has been adapted, with permission, for Mount Aloysius College from the Duke University Libraries “Choosing a Topic.”

How to Cite

If you have questions about the proper citation of any source types, consult with an appropriate style manual or our research guide. The manuals listed below are available at the Reference Desk:
Chicago Manual of Style: 16th Edition  • A Manual for Writer of Research Paper, Theses, and Dissertations: Chicato Style for Students and  Researchers: 7th Edition (Turabian)  • MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers: 8th Edition  • Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association: 6th Edition.
 Scientific Style and Format:: The CSE manuals for Authors, Editors, and Publishers: 7th Edition (Turabian)

Purdue Owl Articles
A great online source for citing in all styles is the OWL at Purdue.  Check out their pages for MLA,<ahref=””> APA and Chicago. There are other useful resources on this site for general writing assistance.

Research Guides/Libguides

Click here for the Connections (LA101) Research Guide.

Research Guides are available on the many subjects and more guides will be added as developed.

Aerial Photo of Mount Aloysius Campus