Helps With Research

NABC Library: Help with Research Assignments

A. Topic/Subject

1. Choose a topic/subject that interests you. Determine the research question; i.e., state your topic in the form of a question. Make it as clear and as concise as possible. For example, if you are researching the topic of sanctification, you might ask: “What are evidences of sanctification/the sanctified life? OR “Is sanctification a one-time experience?”

2. Write down key words or terms concerning your topic.

3. If you have trouble finding a topic, peruse relevant journals/periodicals to get ideas.

4. If you still cannot think of a topic, request help from the librarian.

B. Background Information

1. Peruse reference material (e.g., encyclopedias, dictionaries, etc.) in the library for information on your topic/subject. Note materials listed in bibliographies as potential sources of information on the topic.

2. Check your textbook, reserve books, and class notes also for background information.

C. Periodicals/Journals

1. Search subject headings in the Christian Periodical Index to find journal articles. The index gives the title of an article, the title of the journal,its date, volume and issue numbers, and the page(s) on which the article is found.

2. Search the subject index in the bound volumes of Today’s Pentecostal Evangel found in the AV/Periodical Room. The subject index will give the title and author of an article and indicate the issue in and page on which the article is found.

3. Acquire a public library card from the county in which you reside. Having a public library card allows you to ask for the password to access NC Live. Through NC LIVE, you, as a citizen of North Carolina, have online access to a diverse collection ( of electronic resources including complete articles from over 16,000 newspapers, journals, magazines, and encyclopedias, indexing for over 25,000 periodical titles, and access to over 25,000 online print and audio books. Included among the many databases available through NC LIVE are: Academic Search Complete, America’s Newspapers, CQ Weekly, Daily Life Through History, Encyclopedia of Animals, Eric (Education), Funk and Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia, Gale Virtual Reference Library, Health Source, History of the 20th Century, LearningExpress Library, Master File Premier,  MEDLINEplus, NetLibrary, Newspaper Source, North Carolina Encyclopedia, PsycINFO, ReferenceUSA, Sanborn Maps North Carolina, Serials Directory, Twentieth Century American Poetry, World Data Analyst, WorldCat. NC LIVE is available free of charge to library patrons, students, and educators from public libraries, community colleges, the state’s university system, and members of the North Carolina Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. NC LIVE can be accessed from within an affiliated library or from home. Native American Bible College faculty and students are encouraged to obtain a public library card.

D. Library Catalogs

NABC Library has both an online catalog, which includes over 16,000 entries, and a card catalog, which also includes about 16,000 entries. When looking for material, be sure to search both catalogs. Some material will be included in both catalogs. Other items will only be found in one catalog and not the other. Both catalogs will provide information about material found in the library. Such information includes the call number (giving the location of the item), the author of a work, the title, publication data, the size of the work (e.g., pages and height for books, length in minutes for videos/DVDs/audio cassettes/CDs), subject headings, etc.

Online Catalog

  1. Search the library online catalog for materials on your topic. There are two kinds of searches possible:
    • Simple searches (author, title, subject, or keyword)
    • Advanced searches (with Boolean operators and in any MARC–machine-readable cataloging–field) For instruction on Boolean logic see “Boolean Searching on the Internet” Internet Tutorials by Laura B. Cohen at
  2. To locate material that your search produces, note the call number. The call number will give you the location of the material. The call number generally consists of a Dewey Decimal Cataloging subject number and a three letter abbreviation for the last name of the author or the first three letters of the title (excluding the first word if it is an article; i.e., the word “A,” “An,” or “The”) if the work is edited, anonymous, or has more than four authors. There may also be a prefix before the call number. The following prefixes are used in the NABC Library and the significance of each is given below:

• R   – Reference book found in the Reference Room. (Note: Reference videos/DVDs, reference audio cassettes/CDs, and reference CD-ROMS are filed in their respective areas, not in the Reference Room.)

• V   – Video found in the stacks area immediately inside Stacks Room.

• D   – DVD video found in the stacks area immediately inside Stacks Room.

• C   – Audio Cassette found in the AV Room.

• CD  – Compact Disc shelved with audio cassettes in AV Room.

• CDR – CD-ROM found in the filing cabinet for electronic sources in the AV Room. You must request the help of the librarian/library assistant to access this type of material.

• SER – Serials (e.g. periodicals, journals, magazines). Current issues are found in the Reference Room. Past issues are in bins in the AV/ Periodical Room.

3. Note: Not all materials are on the online catalog. The online catalog is a work in progress.

Card Catalog

  1. Search the library card catalog for materials on your topic. You can search by author, title, or subject. If you already have information about an authoritative work, the quickest search can be done by title.
  2. To locate material that you are interested in, note the call number in the upper left hand corner of the catalog card.
  3. The card catalog in the Reference Room contains books only. A card catalog for videos is located immediately to the right inside the Stacks Room. However, all videos and DVDs are included in the online catalog. A card catalog for audio cassettes is located in the AV/Periodical Room on top of the filing cabinets.

E. Vertical Files

Search the vertical files for subject headings related to your topic. When using vertical file material, pull the entire file folder on the subject.DO NOT pull individual articles out of the file folder.

F. Shelving/Filing Materials

Please DO NOT SHELVE OR FILE material(s) you have pulled. Please LEAVE MATERIALS ON THE TABLES in the study areas. The librarian/library assistant will be happy to return materials to their appropriate location.

G. Online Resources

There are many excellent resources online, but you should not rely solely on them. They can/should be used in addition to materials you find in the NABC Library. CAUTION: Anyone can post anything online. Not all information online is reliable. Therefore, it is necessary to evaluate Websites before accepting information from them as authentic and credible. To help you evaluate Websites, use sites such as the following:

(i) Widener University Library’s “Evaluate Web Pages” available at

(ii) Colorado State University’s “How to Evaluate a Web Page” available at

(iii) Google Research Process & Support: Webpage Evaluation at

You can use subject directories such as the Internet Public Library (available at, the WWW Virtual Library (available at, the Central Bible College Library’s Internet Resources list (available at http://, etc. to assist you in your research. These directories include links to reliable resources.

Please check the Native American Bible College Library “Internet Resources” Webpage (available at and “Government Information” Webpage (available at for more excellent resources for research assignments.

H.    Avoiding Plagiarism

1. What is plagiarism?

According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, plagiarism is a fraudulent act, involving stealing and lying, and includes any of the following:

• stealing and passing off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own • using (another’s production) without crediting the source • committing literary theft • presenting as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.

More details on plagiarism are available at the Website ( Please read the important and very helpful information on that site. According to U.S. Law, plagiarism is a serious offense and must be avoided.

2. How can plagiarism be avoided?

To avoid plagiarism, cite the sources used for your research assignment, thus giving credit to the originator of the ideas you have borrowed or used. Citations for book sources include the following information:

• Author’s name • Title of work • City of Publication • Publisher • Date published • Page numbers of the words being borrowed

There are several different citation styles. At NABC, students are required to use the Modern Language Association (MLA) format. Please check your English textbook and/or the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed. by Joseph Gibaldi, available in the NABC Library, for the information required and the proper MLA format for various types of sources (journals, newspapers, online articles, CDs, videos, etc.). The following three online MLA citation guides are also very helpful:

• MLA Formatting and Style Guide on OWL (Online Writing Lab) available at

• “Writer’s Handbook – MLA Documentation” – University of Wisconsin (Madison) The Writing Center Web page at

• “MLA Citation Style” Web page of Cornell University available at

Source: “Plagiarism Definitions, Tips on Avoiding Plagiarism, Guidelines.” – Learning Center. 2012. iParadigms, LLC. 27 September 2012 <>.