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College Success Skills - Titusville Campus: Getting Started

Find out how to access ULS databases, search PittCat, evaluate sources, and follow MLA/APA style.


This guide will assist you in completing research assignments in any of the courses offered at UPT. This guide will show you how to access databases where you will find scholarly journal articles. It will help you find books and e-books in the University Library System's online catalog, PittCat. It will aid you in evaluating journal articles, books and web sources. It will direct you to web sources containing information on MLA and APA style and format. It will also provide you with links to helpful sites and to connecting to Pitt's Digital Library from home. If you have any questions about the resources found in this guide, please do not hesitate to contact the library or stop by the library to talk with a librarian.

NOTE: You can click Print Page on any page of this research guide to print a copy of all resources and their URLs, where applicable.

The Research Process At-A-Glance

The following steps outline a simple and effective way for finding information for a research paper and citing the sources you find.

  • Develop a topic that asks a question or poses a problem that interests you.
  • State your topic/problem in the form of a question.
  • Select appropriate search terms for your subject within your question. 
  • Search subject oriented databases to locate journal articles.
  • Revise your topic, if necessary.
  • Determine how you will answer your question.
  • Evaluate your journal articles carefully!
  • Decide which articles to include in your research paper. 
  • Cite the sources you find following MLA format.
  • When in doubt, contact your librarian.

The link below will help you refine your research topic.

Subject Guide

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Marc Ross