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Biology 1100: N. DiGiovanni

zebra mussel.jpg
Welcome! Click on a tab below to find books, articles, and websites for use in this course.

You'll need a College of DuPage Library card in order to use most of the resources below from off campus. If your card is not working, it may need to be reactivated.

Questions? Feel free to use my contact info to the right, stop by the Reference Desk, or contact us by email or chat

Image Credit: US Fish and Wildlife Service: Zebra mussel on native mussel
  1. Pick a Topic
  2. Find Articles
  3. Patchwriting or Paraphrasing?
  4. APA Style

Finding (and Narrowing) a Topic

Have a glimmer of a topic that you'd like to work on? Great! You'll want to work to narrow that topic a bit before you dive into the catalog and databases, or you will be swamped with results. You can try the following strategies to narrow a topic:


Still Drawing a Blank?

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The College of DuPage library has several print magazines/journals that you can browse through for inspiration. For example, try looking at headlines in:

  • American Forests
  • Mother Earth News
  • Audubon
Recent magazines and periodicals are located on the second floor of the SRC, on the right as you enter the library.

Finding Articles in Databases

Scientific research can be best found in academic databases. Here are the top two databases to look for information.

Academic Search Complete has a mixture of popular and scholarly articles on a variety of subjects. You'll want to be sure that you're using a source appropriate for class when searching.

Academic OneFile is a great place to find a mixture of scientific and popular articles as well. Just like in Academic Search premier, make sure that you're using a good source for this project while searching.

You can also skim through a couple of major popular science magazines online in order to find your first article:

Not finding what you want here? See the full list of biology databases.

Patchwriting or Paraphrase?

Confused about when you would need to cite, or where the line is drawn between paraphrasing and patchwriting? Sometimes students believe that changing one or two words from a quotation means that quotation marks are not necessary. Good paraphrasing is transformative: the writer explains the main ideas of another author in his or her own words. Paraphrasing also requires a citation.

Take a moment to look at the following sources to see definitions and good and bad examples of student writing.

Using APA Style

Find directions about how to cite your sources in APA Style on the library citation guide.

You can also always check out the Purdue OWL website, which has APA citation guides and even a sample APA paper.

Finally, you are welcome to use NoodleBib if you'd like to use a program to create and organize your citations. You must "Create a New Folder" when you use NoodleBIB for the first time. Click on "I am citing a(n):," choose the type of item you are citing, and then fill in the online form. Your bibliography will be formatted for you.

Further questions? Contact me using the information at the right of the screen.