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Library Research Tutorial for Students : A - E

Directed toward online students taking English Composition - anyone is welcome to use.

A - E

A brief summary, usually of an article, book, or chapter in a book.

 American Psychological Association

The APA web site says:  When editors or teachers ask you to write in “APA style,” they do not mean writing style. They are referring to the editorial style that many of the social and behavioral sciences have adopted to present written material in the field.

Editorial style consists of rules or guidelines that a publisher observes to ensure clear and consistent presentation of written material. Editorial style concerns uniform use of such elements as:

·         punctuation and abbreviations

·         construction of tables

·         selection of headings

·         citation of references

·         presentation of statistics

·         as well as many other elements that are a part of every manuscript

The American Psychological Association has established a style that it uses in all of the books and journals that it publishes. Many others working in the social and behavioral sciences have adopted this style as their standard as well. APA's style rules and guidelines are set out in a reference book called The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

Please note that when researchers talk about APA style, they may be referring to APA's system of citations in text and reference format. If you are unsure, you should clarify with your instructor or editor how they define "APA style."

A list of sources referred to in a particular work. A list of the books, articles of a specific author, or on a specific subject.

Boolean Operators
Words that are used in electronic databases or electronic catalogs to expand or limit the results of a search, including such words as AND, OR, NOT. For example: "child abuse" AND statististics [example of an Boolean search using AND where both terms have to appear together in the results].

Call Number
The combination of letters and numbers used to label each item and give it a unique "address" on a library shelf. Materials are arranged on the shelf by call numbers, so that titles on the same subject are shelved together. The William Hessel Library uses the Dewey Decimal Classification.

A file of records arranged systematically, listing all the books, sometimes periodical titles, and other materials owned by a library. For each cataloged title, there is a record in the catalog under the author's name, title, and any subject terms that describe the contents of the cataloged items. The William Hessel Library has an electronic catalog.

The complete information needed to find or identify a particular item. For books, it includes the author's name, title, publisher, place of publication, and date of publication. For periodical articles, it includes the author and title of the article, plus the name of the magazine or journal, the volume, date, and page numbers of the issue in which the article appears.


Right granted by statute to the author or originator of certain literary, artistic, and musical productions whereby for a limited period of time he or she controls the use of the product. The work may be reproduced by the individual or by another licensed to do so by the individual. Royalties are paid on each performance of the work or each copy that is sold. Source:  The Columbia Encyclopedia, © Columbia University Press 2008.

Another term for "subject heading," usually used in the context of electronic databases. 
Descriptors  identify what an article is about that is indexed in the database. 

Dewey Decimal Classification
A classification system, developed by Melville Dewey, which uses a division of numbers to designate the various classes of subjects. The system uses three digit numbers followed by a decimal point and additional numerals.

To copy information to a flash drive or to a computer's hard disk.


Subject Guide

Diane Baker's picture
Diane Baker
William Hessel Library
Lake Michigan College
2755 East Napier Avenue
Benton Harbor, MI 49022