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CJA & MPA Graduate Program: Library Research Introduction: Introduction

CJA & MPA Graduate Program: Library Research Introduction



This guide is an introduction to Library Research at the Graduate Level. Each of the tabs represents a concept of graduate research. 
Each tab has instructional material, tutorial videos, and a self administered quiz.  The final tab has an assessment questionnaire. 

Guide Contents


What are Scholarly Sources? 

This part of the guide will illuminate the aspects of a scholarly article and how they are different from the regular articles you come across in everyday life.  

What is a Literature Review?

A literature review is very different from the papers we wrote in undergraduate studies.  The concepts of how to construct a literature review can be very confusing.  This part of the guide will deal with the aspects of understanding and creating a literature review.

Anatomy of a Scholarly Article

A scholarly article can come in many shapes and sizes.  This guide will deal with how quantitative, empirical research is synthesized to create a scholarly article.  We will describe the parts of a scholarly article and which areas to cite from.

Searching for Articles

What is a database and how do you use it? Learn about databases, and the best strategies to find the articles you need. 

Avoiding Book Reviews

Using book reviews as scholarly resources is a common mistake.  Book reviews are quick synopses of previously published books in a field, they also contain scholarly opinion on whether the book is a valuable addition to one's collection. These articles do not qualify as research. We will describe why and tell you how to avoid them.

APA Citations - Reference List 

This part deals with constructing your APA Style reference list and how to correctly cite all of your sources at the end of your research.  

APA Citations - In-Text

Now that you've learned how to cite a source in your reference list, we can work on citing them in text of your paper.  This guide will teach you how to quote, paraphrase, and cite concepts from your sources within the text of your paper. 



Welcome MPA & CJA Students


This guide is designed to help students in the Hilbert College Graduate Programs (CJA & MPA) with research strategies and best practices.


  • Some graduate students have been away from research for a significant period of time.  Technology, databases, and software have greatly influenced how research is conducted.

  • It is important to acquire an understanding of best practices before research is completed, synthesized, and submitted. 

  • McGrath Librarians have identified a number of common mistakes students make when conducting research, knowing these pitfalls and how to avoid them before commencing research will highly benefit students.

  • Concepts such as Literature Reviews, In-Text Citations, & Peer-Review may be foreign to some students. 

Welcome to the Learning Commons at McGrath Library

Handouts and Other Important Information

Public Services and Instruction Librarian

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Melissa Laidman
McGrath Library
Room 119