SPA 151 — Introduction to Hispanic Culture
LIB SOUTH 2037O
Start your research by going to the library home page.
- Main - Here you will find the most-used links and information
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- Services & Depts. - Services the library offers and departmental web pages
Checking out books: You can see what books are available in the Torofind Library Catalog. Once you have found the books you want, bring them to the Circulation Counter on the second floor of Library North to check them out. You will need a valid student ID card or a notification from Admissions & Records to check out books.
If the library does not have a book you need, you can request it via Inter-Library Loan!
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You can get journal articles by going to the library home page and clicking the Journal Articles & Electronic Resources link under the "Find Journal Articles Now" heading. Click the heading that sounds the most like your situation.
- If you only know what subject you're looking for (e.g. Humanities) click Browse Databases by Subject.
- If you know which database you want to use (e.g. Project Muse) click Browse Databases by Title (A-Z).
- If you are looking for an article from a specific journal (e.g. Journal of Latin American studies) click Browse Journal Titles.
- If you aren't sure where to start, click the how to find an article link at the top for help.
Once you are in a database, you can start to search for your article. All databases' search options are slightly different, but they usually include several search boxes you can fill out. Most databases will also let you search only for peer-reviewed or scholarly journals. For your research papers, you will want to make sure you check this option!
Articles which you can read in that database will have a link to the PDF full text or the HTML full text. Click on that text link to read the article. Some databases also let you e-mail yourself the files by clicking on an e-mail link.
Some articles will say "Check Availability of Complete Article" instead of having links to the full text. If you see this, it means the text of that article is not in the database you are searching. But don't worry! By clicking the link which says this, you can see a list of which databases do have the full text. If there are no databases containing the article you want, you can request it via Inter-Library Loan.
If you are using a computer that is on campus, you can access all of our electronic databases and ebooks without any further steps. Just click on the database name in the Database List and you will be sent immediately to the search screen.
If you are off campus, you will need to log in using your MyCSUDH Username and Password (the same thing you use to log in to Blackboard, MyCSUDH, and student e-mail). When you click on a database name from off-campus, you will see a screen asking you for this information.
After you enter your login information, you should be able to access any of our electronic databases and ebooks just like you would on campus. If you have problems, try resetting your password. If that doesn't work either, give the reference desk a call at (310) 243-3586 and we will help you troubleshoot.
There are plenty of books in the library on Spanish-speaking cultures. Try the following search in the library's online catalog and you will see a list of books.
- Go to the library's online catalog
- In the drop-down menu to the left, select "Subject - Subject Words"
- In the text area to the right, type in Latin America
- For a list of other similar subjects, you can scroll through the list this search returns.
- For a list of general-purpose books, click the Latin America link
- Once you have a list of books on the screen, you can sort your results with the drop-down menu at the right.
- Select "Sort by year - newest to oldest" to see a list of books with the most recent books first.
The library also has several collections of ebooks: books that have been scanned in and which you can access from home using the library website. The main collection of ebooks is called ebrary. You can find it by clicking the "Find Journal Articles Now" header on the main library page, then selecting "E" for ebrary.
You can sign up for an Ebrary account (separate from your MyCSUDH username and password) to get added functionality from Ebrary, such as the ability to take notes in books or add books to a bookshelf.
Here are a few ebooks that may be of interest:
- Conversion of a Continent : Religious Identity and Change in Latin America
- Who's In and Who's Out : Social Exclusion in Latin America
- Death Squads or Self-Defense Forces? : How Paramilitary Groups Emerge and Challenge Democracy in Latin America
- Unfolding the City : Women Write the City in Latin America
- Rain Forest Literatures : Amazonian Texts and Latin American Culture
Los Angeles Times (1988 - current) or Los Angeles Times Historical (1881- 1987) - These two databases contain the full text of every newspaper put out by the Los Angeles Times from 1881 up to the present day's edition. Make sure you are in the correct database, though--if you need current articles and are looking in the historical database, you will not find anything!
MLA International Bibliography - The MLA International Bibliography, produced by the Modern Language Association,
consists of bibliographic records pertaining to literature, language, linguistics,
and folklore and includes coverage from 1963 to the present. The MLA International Bibliography provides access to scholarly research in nearly 4,000 journals and series. It also covers relevant monographs, working papers, proceedings, bibliographies, and other formats.
Project Muse - Currently, Project MUSEŽ offers nearly 200 quality journal titles from some 30 scholarly publishers. As one of the the academic community's primary electronic periodicals resources, Project MUSE covers the fields of literature and criticism, history, the visual and performing arts, cultural studies, education, political science, gender studies, economics, and many others. Project MUSE is setting the standard for scholarly electronic journals in the humanities and social sciences
OxResearch - A "first draft of history" as it occurs. Provides analytical articles covering world and regional economic and political developments of major significance. Evaluates issues and events within a coherent political, social, and economic framework. Contains objective, multi-disciplinary articles compiled by an extensive international network of over 1,000 faculty members at Oxford and other leading universities around the world, as well as think-tanks and institutes of international standing.
SocINDEX - SocINDEX with Full Text, offers coverage from all subdisciplines of sociology, including abortion, anthropology, criminology, criminal justice, cultural sociology, demography, economic development, ethnic & racial studies, gender studies, marriage & family, politics, religion, rural sociology, social psychology, social structure, social work, sociological theory, sociology of education, substance abuse, urban studies, violence, welfare, and others.
What is plagiarism? - Plagiarism is "The action or practice of taking someone else's work, idea, etc., and passing it off as one's own; literary theft." (OED)
In essence, when you quote or paraphrase from somebody else's work without citing it, you are plagiarizing their work. Plagiarism is a serious matter, and could result in a lower or failing grade and even in your expulsion from university. Just rewording your work isn't enough to avoid plagiarism. Since you are still borrowing information heavily from another writer, you still need to include a citation.
But I didn't know! - Ignorance of the law is unfortunately no excuse. You can commit plagiarism without meaning to, and it's just as serious a problem if you do.
How can I avoid it? - You can avoid plagiarism by always citing your sources. Whenever you put a quotation or borrow information heavily from a source, be sure you include a citation in the proper APA style. This will let your professor know you aren't trying to pass the idea off as your own. Taking detailed notes on where you get your information helps a lot with this, since it prevents you from forgetting which is your own work and which is borrowed from others.
For more information, see your student handbook and this handout by Sheela Pawar at CSUDH
Remember, not all web sites are created equally. Some sites can be valid sources of information, but others are filled with opinion represented as fact. While there isn't a 100% effective way to figure out what kind of site you're looking at, here are some guidelines to follow when using the internet for research:
- Check Credibility - Is it easy to figure out who's behind the information? Does whomever it is know what they're talking about? Do they have qualifications in the field or some other reason to be trust-worthy in it?
- Check Accuracy - Are the sources cited well? Is the information up-to-date? Are there any broad, sweeping generalisations that are impossible to verify?
- Check Reasonableness - What is the page's point-of-view? Is it a corporate page trying to sell you a product? Is it a government or educational site where the main purpose is to educate people?
- Check Support - Is it possible to double-check the information in another location?
Useful Scholarly Websites
INFOMINE is a virtual library of Internet resources relevant to faculty, students, and research staff at the university level. It contains useful Internet resources such as databases, electronic journals, electronic books, bulletin boards, mailing lists, online library card catalogs, articles, directories of researchers, and many other types of information.
The Librarians' Internet Index aims to provide a well-organized point of access for reliable, trustworthy, librarian-selected websites, serving California, the nation, and the world. All links on the Index are selected and approved by librarians before inclusion.
For more information, check out our guide on Evaluating Web Resources
Use multiple search terms - Remember, not every database or article uses exactly the same words to describe the same thing. Make sure you try several synonyms for the term you're trying to find. Most databases have a link titled "thesaurus" or "subject terms" which you can use to find out what words to search for.
Search in multiple places - The more places you look for information, the more information you're likely to find. Don't just search in one database and assume it's all you'll be able to find! Take a look at the list of Useful Databases earlier on in this page for where to start your search.
Ask for help - Don't be afraid to ask for help! Research can be an exhausting process, and sometimes a fresh perspective will make your task immensely easier. You can stop by the reference desk in the library and ask any of the reference librarians for help with your research. You can also submit an online help request which a librarian will answer within a day or two.
Don't leave it until the last minute - The earlier you start, the better your paper will be. Starting early gives you plenty of time to read and absorb the information so that you'll be properly informed when writing your paper.