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SPA 306 — Advanced Composition II

Contacto

Stewart Baker
sbaker@csudh.edu
(310)-243-2062
LIB SOUTH 2037O

Navegación

Getting Started

Basic Library Information

Finding Journal Articles at CSUDH

Off-Campus Access

Useful Books & Ebooks

Useful Databases

Plagiarism

Scholarly Internet Research

Annotated Bibliographies

Finding Spanish-Language News

General Research Tips


Getting Started


Start your research by going to the library home page.

Site Organization:

  • Dropdown Menus - Links to all our major web pages in one convenient place.
  • Tabbed Search Box - Easy one-stop access to search books, articles, and more.
  • Quick Links - Useful links to renew your books, contact the library, and other common tasks.
  • Main Section - All the resources you need to perform your research.

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.

Click here for a tutorial on how to use the Torofind online catalog.

Library's Book Borrowing Policies

If the library does not have a book you need, you can request it via Inter-Library Loan!



Basic Library Information


Finding Journal Articles at CSUDH

You can get journal articles by going to the library home page.  Below the tabbed search area, you will see three options:

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 "Find it @ CSUDH Lib" 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.

You can also use the "Quick Search" or "Google Scholar" links if you are having trouble, or use the search box titled "Articles & eResources."



Off-Campus Access

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.



Useful Books & Ebooks

We don't, unfortunately, have a lot of books on Marcela del Rio specifically, but there are plenty of books in the library on Spanish-language literature in general. 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 Mexican literature
  • Find one of the subjects you are interested in, and click on it to see a list of books.
  • 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 "Databases by Title" header on the main library page, then selecting "E" for ebrary.

To find useful ebooks, log in to ebrary and do a subject search for Mexican Literature or your more specific topic.  Here are a few which may be of use:



Useful Databases
JSTOR
JSTOR, a project initiated by the Andrew Mellon Foundation, is a continuously growing and updated electronic retrospective archive of a continuously growing archive of over 330 scholarly journals.

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

Academic Search Premier
Academic Search Premier is the world's largest scholarly, multi-discipline, full text database designed specifically for academic institutions. With the most valuable and most numerous collection of peer-reviewed full text journals, Academic Search Premier offers critical information from many sources found in no other database. This resource contains full text for nearly 3,200 scholarly publications.



Plagiarism

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



Scholarly Internet Research

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



Annotated Bibliographies

An annotated bibliography involves reading existing published works on a particular topic and summarizing them. 
Annotated bibliographies are often a preliminary step to creating a full-fledged research papers.  For your schoolwork, professors will sometimes ask you to discuss how good you think the article is, or other more assignment-specific information, in addition to summarizing it.

To learn more about Annotated Bibliographies, you can see this article from Cornell University: http://olinuris.library.cornell.edu/ref/research/skill28.htm



Finding Spanish-Language News

The library offers several sources for Spanish- and foreign-language newspapers.  Our main newspaper database, News & Newspapers (ProQuest), does contain some Spanish-language materials that can be accessed by searching in Spanish.

Google's news sub-page is also a very useful way to find current events in foreign languages.  Make sure you click the "News" button at the top of the search engine before searching, or go to http://news.google.com/

Google search tip:  You can limit your search results to a specific country's newspapers by adding site:.XX onto the end of your search, where XX is the domain ending for your country.  For example, if you wanted to find Brazilian news which mentioned immigration, you could do a search for

Estados Unidos site:.br

to see a list of news articles and news blogs which mentioned the United States in some way, and which were published on Brazilian websites.

Note that you may need to check and make sure the article you read is from a reputable source, even if it shows up in Google News, as personal blogs sometimes do show up there.



General Research Tips

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.