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Leadership Studies Research

LS 115: Exploring Elements of Leadership

street wall with the quote "This is how change happens. One gesture. One person. One moment at a time." by Libba Bray

This landing page is provided to supplement information for the LS 115: Exploring Elements of Leadership course. For this class, you will need to locate information that helps your groups explain a leadership theory and give specific examples to showcase the theory at work.  This means not only being able to differentiate the types of information but, also, recognizing where to go to get the type you need. In addition, you'll need to go on to use that information in smart and ethical ways.

Because the study of Leadership is inherently interdisciplinary, you may have a tried and true research toolkit that you've fostered in your major courses. Feel free to rely on the skills you're mastering in those courses to inform your work for this project. If you have a database you already rely on, try it out! If you have a LibGuide from another librarian that you have found particularly helpful to you, use it. My job as the liaison librarian to leadership is not to remove tools from your toolkit, but instead to help you add more choices to your collection.

Library Class Materials 2/2

Wikipedia: A great pre-research source

Wikipedia logo

Wikipedia is GREAT! And contrary to what folks may have told you, the review process is more thorough than much that is published on the open web. The reason I tell students not to cite Wikipedia in their scholarly writing is not that it's flawed, but because it is an overview or reference source and that is not the need those types of sources fulfill. Encyclopedias like Wikipedia are excellent for doing pre-research. Use them correctly, and they can be a fantastic tool in your toolkit.

The part of a Wikipedia article that would help you the most are the reference and/or the further reading sections. There you will find citations that are good starting point for pre-research: gathering potential search terms, names of authors or scholars who are knowledgeable about the topic, and titles of potential scholarly journals to search.

Google Scholar (Advanced)

Google Scholar (Advanced)

Google Scholar appeals to lots of folks because it is a free web search engine that appeals to our love of a Google Search. Instead of the entire open web, however, Google Scholar indexes only the scholarly literature portion of Google. This can include peer-reviewed articles, conference papers, theses and dissertations, and more. 

  • Google Scholar results often lead you to a great abstract that you cannot access without payment. The number of times this happens can be limited if you link your Google Scholar account to your Vogel Library access. If even the Library Links can't get you the article you need, you can request it through Interlibrary Loan. Contact me anytime to help you do so!
  • Google Scholar results seem to prioritize older articles. This is because they sort their relevant results based on the popularity of both the publication in which the source appears and the author of the source. This can limit you from seeing new scholars or scholars who may be more marginalized in their fields. Remember, while peer review is considered a pretty effective system, it's still shaped by the culture in which it exists, and at this time, some voices hold more weight in academic circles than others.
  • Searching Google Scholar feels a lot like searching Google, which appeals to our everyday behavior of information searching.
  • The advanced search functionality and the "cited by" option provide options many paid databases do not provide.

Annotated Bibliography

What exactly is an annotation?

What does it exist?

  • Annotation--A note that comments on the source

What is the point?

  • To show you've read it, understand it, analyzed it, and applied it.
  • In a group project, these annotations help your group members see how your article fits into the larger project.
  • Huge help when it comes to writing papers, presentations, etc.

What are its parts?

Typically four parts, but always confirm your professor's requirements for the assignment.

  • Complete citation (use format required by the course)
  • Summarize: What was it about and what conclusions were made?
  • Assess: The quality and usefulness of the source
  • Reflect: How the information contributes to your own research

Citations: A Short Guide

Citing Sources: a short guide 


A way to structure pieces of information about the sources whose ideas and words you used when creating your paper, presentation, speech, etc. 


  • Authors/Scholars 

  • Research organizations 

  • Public/Governmental organizations 



  • In-text ---> short and long quotations, summary/paraphrasing, tables, pictures  

  • Reference page, typically at the end of the paper, presentation, etc. 


  • Helps your audience find these sources for themselves  

  • Shows the quality of your research per your use of diverse types of sources 

  • Gives credit to others for their ideas, thoughts, and challenging work — avoid plagiarism  

  • Demonstrates you know how to use information responsibly, ethically, and intelligently  


  • APA (social sciences, education, business, comm) 

  • MLA (English, comm) 

  • Chicago (music history) 

  • Turabian (religion, history, art) 

  • ASA (sociology) 

  • AP (Associated Press) (news) 

  • ACS (Chemistry) 

  • Wartburg Biology Writing Style 

  • CSE (Sciences) 


Parts of a Citation

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