Trouble Finding a Topic??

IC Library Print & Media Resources

Writing: Scholars & Disciplines

Academic writing
Academic writing--Handbooks, manuals, etc
Report writing
Report writing--Handbooks, manuals, etc
Scholarly publishing
Scholarly publishing--Handbooks, manuals, etc
Communication in learning and scholarship
Communication in learning and scholarship--Technological innovations

Dissertations, Academic
Dissertations, Academic--Handbooks, manuals, etc.
Dissertations, Academic--Authorship

Social sciences--Authorship
Social sciences--Authorship--Style manuals
Social science literature--Editing
Communication in the social sciences

Psychology--Authorship--Style manuals
Psychological literature--Publishing--Handbooks, manuals, etc

Sociology--Authorship--Handbooks, manuals, etc
Sociology--Authorship--Style manuals

Political science--Authorship

Communication in anthropology

Economics--Authorship--Style manuals

Legal composition
Legal composition--Handbooks, manuals, etc

Business report writing

Mass media--Authorship
Mass media criticism

Technical writing  [Science writing]
Technical writing--Study and teaching
Scientific literature--Authorship--Handbooks, manuals, etc
Scientific literature--Editing
Communication in science

Biology--Authorship--Style manuals
Medical writing

Chemistry--Authorship--Style manuals


Communication in the humanities
Criticism--Authorship--Handbooks, manuals, etc


Philosophy--Authorship--Handbooks, manuals, etc

Musicology--Handbooks, manuals, etc

Performing arts--Research--Methodology

Language, Society & Culture

Not in the IC Library??

     WorldCat via FirstSearch  is a "union catalog" that allows you to search the holdings of over 10,000 libraries from accross the country and around the world. Check WorldCat to discover what the entire universe of possible resources looks like for your topic. 
User Advisory:
  • Because this is such an enormous database you need to choose a "Limit Type to" before you begin. Most commonly you will be looking for "Books," "Visual Materials" (for example DVDs), or "Sound Recordings."
  • I recommend you avoid the "Author phrase," "Title phrase," and "Subject phrase" search fields and use "Author," "Title," or "Subject" instead. The "phrase" searches must be exact and are unforgiving.
  • If your topic is time-sensitive, try focusing on a recent time span under Year.
  • When you find an item you want you can request an interlibrary loan by opening the WorldCat record and clicking on "ILL (order via interlibrary loan)," which you'll find toward the top of the record under "External Resources." This will connect you to Ithaca College Library interlibrary loan, where you log in using your usual Netpass name and password. Logging in opens a form where all the identifying data will have automatically been transferred from the WorldCat record. All you have to do is click "Submit."

Contact Us

picture of Lisabeth Chabot

Lisabeth Chabot

College Librarian
(607) 274-3182

Search Argos

Recommended Databases

Looking for a safe haven in a sea of possible resources? Try my

IC Writing Center

Tired of clicking?  Want to talk to a person about your paper?  Try the Department of Writing's Writing Center.

Reference Resources

Web Resources

Rhetoric & Composition

  • Bartleby.com Reference Collection: Full text access includes the American Heritage Dictionary, Roget's Thesaurus, the American Heritage Book of English Usage, The Columbia Guide to Standard English, Fowler's The King's English, and Mencken's The American Language.
  • Common Errors in English: Devoted to common mistakes in word usage, especially terms confused with one another. Scroll down the home page for alphabetical index.

Web Directories

     Web Directories differ from search engines like Google in that all the online resources have been selected and annotated by editors, thereby promising a much higher degree of quality control. 

Think Tanks & Research Institutes

Think Tanks & Research Institutes: A short collection of resources that can access these often influential contributions to public policy debate. 

Citation Help

MLA Citation

MLA is the citation style used by most disciplines in the Humanities. Here is my guide to the latest (2016) update of the MLA style.

Plagiarism & Paraphrase

     We hold this truth to be self-evident: copying sentences or paragraphs without placing them in quotation marks and citing the source is plagiarism.  But plagiarism can--and usually does--take other forms.  Even if you have altered a source by paraphrasing or sampling parts of it, it should be cited.  Even if you borrow an idea or line of argument but not the actual language, it should be cited.
     Paraphrase of a source should be used either for concision—giving a briefer version—or for translating ideas and information into your own voice.  But abbreviating a source and substituting some of your own words does not make you the author.
     Borrowed phrases should always be put in quotation marks and even individual words need to be quoted if they are key terms or constitute a specialized usage. 
     Less tangible borrowings--ideas and arguments--should be acknowledged with a citation at the end of the sentence, documenting the influence of a source in the absence of direct quotation.

     When in doubt—cite. Done properly, there is no downside to citation. It indicates that you have taken the trouble to research the topic, that you have the integrity to acknowledge your sources, and that you have the competence to cite them correctly. Further, it shows your ability to identify persuasive arguments or memorable language and then corroborate, refute, or enlarge upon them in your own terms.      This last point is essential: never use quotations as a substitute for your own thought. Always comment upon ideas you have found elsewhere. Even if what you cite is simply informational, you need to indicate why you think it is important, useful--or in need of refuting.