Help Online With Library Education & Research
NOTE: A reminder that print books and DVDs are not available for checkout during shutdown
Often, for classes like Written Communication or for some program-related courses, you will be asked to identify and write about an important issue or challenge in your field. Here are some ways to begin:
See this guide for links to organizations:
We have some in the Libraries in print, however we have many more in our article databases, especially this one:
Try a search that is similar to:
Often, instructors will require you to research a topic that fits a given theme. For example, for an English 1 class you are asked to write about a topic related to an environmental issue. Now you have several choices for exploring for a specific topic: (you can also explore the videos on the left!)
which contains nearly 800 full-text searchable specialized, college-level reference books. To begin, try a topic search:
Once you do, you'll find a summary entry that will provide context and background:
The next step is to browse the 'Related Topics' index for a subtopic that could be of interest to you:
If there isn't a good idea in the list, look for a 'See More' link. Or, try clicking around on the links to find another topic related to those listed. Hopefully one of these will be of help.
And notice it has a dropdown for categories of issues.
We suggest trying a Google Advanced Search (look for this symbol after you search: ) You will have more options for searching. Enter some terms you associate with your research theme:
Especially early in the semester, faculty might assign you a paper that asks you to explore a topic with which you have some familiarity. Perhaps you will also be asked to add to that knowledge by consulting other sources.
On occasion, some students resist the idea that they need to explore beyond what they already know about a topic. However, as an emerging writer, college research means reviewing what is known about a topic, collecting relevant detail and examples, and sharing and acknowledging the work of experts and journalists.
Although you might very well know important facts about your topic, your writing will be helped by including data, expert opinion, and corroborated facts that you reference in your papers.
This is a great site for explaining complex systems and providing technical descriptions.
Credo Reference is an excellent alternative to Wikipedia. This collection of online, published reference resources provides access for students to nearly 800, highly specialized e-books. Give it a try, but if you have questions, let a librarian know!
Certainly try the web to search for news on a topic, or even browse a topic for news coverage. If you have trouble, it might make sense to try some of the Library Database options below.
Many of our databases index and provide access to the full text of articles for many current publications. Often, with a bit of practice, it is easier to find relevant news content through databases than it is to find them on the web. Databases also provide both text-to-speech capabilities and automatic citation generation.