Research & Writing Help

Research involves identifying, locating, assessing, analyzing, and then developing and expressing your ideas about a specific subject.  These resources will help you pull all your findings together and complete your research paper.

Writing Center

Writing Center

Developed by the English faculty of MLC.

Writing Resources


Links to children’s dictionaries, rhyming dictionaries, scientific dictionaries, music dictionaries, and more.  Dictionaries generally have short entries that define words or provide brief information about a topic.


Find synonyms and word suggestions in this online searchable thesaurus.

Visual Thesaurus 

Displays a unique visualization of connections between words.


Links to general and subject-specific encyclopedias that are excellent for an overview of your subject.

Write a Research Paper in 8 Steps:

( Please note, this resource will discontinue June 2017.)

 *Developed by the University of Minnesota.

Writing Rubric

MLC Writing Rubric

Developed by the English faculty of MLC.

Citation Management

Reference management software, also known as citation management software, allows you to:

  • Collect references
  • Store references in a web account or on your desktop
  • Organize references
  • Add notes to your references
  • Link to full-text articles, web pages, and documents
  • Cite your references and create bibliographies

What citation management, software is available at MLC?

Currently, the library does not purchase citation software for our campus family. However, there are many products that are available for you to use online. Some require a purchase or fee, but many are free. Here is a list of the more popular citation software tools.


  • RefWorks: An annual license (12-month subscription) includes feature upgrades and online support.
  • EndNote: You can buy for personal use and offers a reduced price for students.
  • Bookends: A reference manager for Mac and iOS users. This is also a purchased product that has a reduced price for students.

Free and Open-sourced:

  • Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is free and open-source.
  • Mendeley is a free reference manager and academic social network that can help you organize your research, collaborate with others online, and discover the latest research.

Basic Citation and Bibliography Sources

Whatever program you decide to use, it will take a certain amount of time to learn the system well enough to get the benefits. These tools really will improve your work, it is well worth your time.

Find comparisons of a more comprehensive list of citation managers at Wikipedia’s Comparison of reference management software.

Citation Builder

Citation Builder

UNC’s Citation Builder is designed to let you quickly build citations for following citation styles.

Citation Manuals

APA: American Psychological Association Style Guide

The most dependable resource for up-to-date information regarding APA style is the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL). This website, sponsored by Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, has built a solid reputation as a great resource for formatting questions.

Cite right:

a quick guide to citation styles–MLA, APA, Chicago, the sciences, professions, and more – Lipson, Charles.

Print Edition Only: PN147 .G444 2008

Chicago Manual of Style Online 17th edition

A manual for writers of research papers, theses, and dissertations : Chicago style for students and researchers – Turabian, Kate L.

Print Edition: LB 2369 .T8 2007 – MLC


What is plagiarism?

“Plagiarism is defined in dictionaries as the “wrongful appropriation,” “close imitation,” or “purloining and publication” of another author’s “language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions,” and the representation of them as one’s own original work.” From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Copyright Guides from Copyright Clearance Center

Welcome to the Campus Guide to Copyright Compliance. Designed for academic institutions, this guide helps answer questions ranging from basic copyright law to the more complex topics of ILL and e-reserves. Copyright © 2008, Copyright Clearance Center, Inc.

Campus Guide to Copyright Compliance

Copyright on Campus (Video)

Copyright & Videos At Work

Questions & Answers on Copyright

from the United States Copyright Office

Fair Use of Copyrighted Materials

 This infographic by ARL, American University’s (AU) Washington College of Law, and AU’s School of Communication shows how and why libraries should use the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries.

Accessing Library Resources

This slideshow demonstrates ways to locate various types of MLC library resources.