ENG 110 — Freshman Composition 1 - Fall '12 - Rho
LIB SOUTH 2037O
The Library Homepage
Finding Books & e-Books & The Check-out Process
Finding Journal Articles Online
Scholarly Internet Research
MLA Citation Style
General Research Tips
Start your research by going to the University Library Homepage.
SITE ORGANIZATION - The Center View
- The SEARCH BOX - Start your search for books and e-books here. Use the tabs at the top to search for books and articles put on reserve by your professors, to access the online databases and more.
- ARTICLES, E-BOOKS & ONLINE SCHOLARLY RESOURCES- These links will take you to pages which will help you to efficiently use University Library resources.
- REQUEST MATERIALS FROM OTHER LIBRARIES - If the book or article you would like is not available at CSUDH, you can find it at other libraries and request it through the Inter-library Loan (ILL) process.
- RESEARCH & SCHOLARLY ASSISTANCE - These links will guide you through the research process and connect you to the Reference Department for research assistance.
- LIBRARY SERVICES & INFORMATION - Find your way, renew books and access other information about the Library and its services from these links.
- LIBRARY AFFILIATES - links to other programs within the Library.
SITE ORGANIZATION - The Top Menu
The top menu bar provides drop down lists to resources found within the University Library web site and provides links to the Library's Twitter feed, Facebook page and other social media activities.
SITE ORGANIZATION - The Left Sidebar
Here you will find links to Library Hours, Library Announcements and Quick Links to renew books online and email a librarian for research assistance.
To find a book or journal in the University Library use the maroon colored SEARCH BOX on the homepage. Search by keyword, title, author, subject, ISBN/ISSN number or call number with the drop down selections and then put in your search term/s in the search bar on the right. Results will be books or journals in our collection, including electronic books which can be read online. When you click on a book or journal of interest, a page will appear which will provide a more detailed record of the book/journal. This record will include the location of the book/journal in the Library, its status (available, checked out, lost, etc.) and subject terms. Quite often it will also include the table of contents and a summary. How to Find Books, Magazines, and Journal Titles in the CSUDH Library is a more in-depth guide on how to search the catalog and how books and journals are organized in the Library.
Finding Books Online
Try the following search in the library's online catalog and you will see a list of books related to the English Language.
First, 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 English Language.
- For a list of other similar subjects, click the English Language United States -- 2 Related Subjects link.
- For a list of books which deal with English in the United States, click the English Language United States link.
- You can look through other, more specific subjects to find a lot of other books, as well.
- 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.
To find a book or journal on the shelves, read about our Shelving Locations.
You can find e-books using the same method as regular books. To access a e-book, click the title or the link below the title of the book. Some of the e-book databases allow you to create an account. If you do, you will be able to save the book to your bookshelf, highlight text and keep notes on what you are reading. Every time you log in to the database the books will appear on your bookshelf, just as you left them.
If your professor has put a book on reserve, to be shared by the class, you can find this book by using the 2nd tab of the SEARCH BOX, COURSE RESERVES. Use the drop down fields to select either Course Number or Professor's Name, enter the corresponding search term and hit Search. The record will show you the status of the book (on the shelf, checked out, etc.). To retrieve the book from the Reserve Desk (which is located on the 2nd floor, east of the entrance to the Library) print out the record, or jot down the title and author, and take it to the Reserve Desk.
Checking Out Books
If there are books you would like to check out, bring them to the Circulation Counter located at the Library entrance; most of the journal collection is for Library use only. You will need a valid student ID card or a notification from Admissions & Records to check out books. Books are loaned for a period of 28 days; you may check out up to 30 books at a time. Read more about the Circulation Policies here.
If the Library does not have the book you need, you can request it from another library via Inter-Library Loan. There is no cost for this service. On average, it takes about a week to receive materials.
You can find online journal articles by following this search process:
- Determine your search terms. Brainstorm general keywords that describe your topic of interest and then think of synonyms for these terms that might appear in professional journals. For example: environment - environmentalism - carbon footprint - consumerism. Unique, targeted keywords will bring up relevant sources more quickly.
- Start at the Library home page - Articles, e-Books, Online Scholarly Resources.
- To get a quick start, begin at Quick Search. This searches across all our databases and book resources. Because of that, you will have thousands of results so use the sidebar on the left to limit search results. Continue with number 5 below.
- Click one of the headings that is appropriate for your research effort: Database by Subject, Database by Title, Quick Search, Frequently Used Databases or Journal by Title. A description of a few, select databases for this course is included below.
- Enter one or a few of your keywords into the database search field. Combining terms can help zero in on good results. Some databases allow this in the basic search screen, some will offer this option in the advanced search screen.
- Use AND between terms to include both terms in the resulting articles; this will reduce the number of results you receive
- Use OR between terms to expand the results to include either one term or the other
- Use NOT to assure that results do not include a certain word
- Selecting Scholarly or Peer Reviewed Journals
- Changing the date range
- Selecting the language
When you find an article of interest you will have options to:
- Open the PDF full-text format of the article (this is recommended as the PDF is the exact copy of how it appeared in the journal, thus showing tables, graphs, images and page numbers;
- Open the HTML full-text format of the document; or
- Find the document at CSUDH (the document is not in the database you are searching, but is available in another CSUDH database; just follow the links to get to it).
- If the article is not available at CSUDH, you can request it through Inter-Library Loan. Often, a link to this option will appear. It takes about a week to receive it once your request is submitted. If the link does not appear, try clicking the More tab and selecting Google Scholar. With luck the article will be available through that search. You might also choose to ask a librarian if it can be found elsewhere; sometimes we can work a little magic :).
Most databases also allow you to email the article or save it into a folder so you can easily go back to it. To create your own folder within the database you need to establish an account by creating a user login and password. If you intend to study this topic again, it is recommended that you create your own account so you don't have to repeat the research process. A number of databases also provide the format for basic citation styles. Be sure to look for these options before you move on to other results.
GOOGLE SCHOLAR: You can also search for articles on Google Scholar. If you use Google Scholar from the link on the CSUDH Library home page you will have access to the articles available within our database holdings. If you start your search directly from the Google search bar, you will be asked to pay for articles before you can access them.
If all this is too overwhelming and you still aren't sure where to start or how to continue, try working through this comprehensive guide on How to Find an Article, or schedule a research appointment with a librarian.
You can contact Vivian Linderman at email@example.com / 310-243-2308, or Stewart Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org / 310-243-2062 for further assistance.
ACADEMIC SEARCH PREMIER: This is a multi-subject, general database providing full-text for more than 4,600 journals, including full-text for more than 3,900 peer-reviewed titles.
CQ RESEARCHER ONLINE: objective and balanced treatment of current issues and hot topics; each 12,000-word report by an experienced journalist examines all sides of an issue and includes charts, graphs, sidebar articles as well as a chronology, extensive bibliography and a list of contacts.
ERIC (Education): ERIC is the main education database, with articles on a number of educational and child development topics. Due to a security breach within ERIC, many articles are not available at this time. You might want to try other databases.
SocINDEX (EBSCO): SocINDEX has articles on sociology topics including criminology, criminal justice, cultural sociology, demography, economic development, ethnic & racial studies, and much more.
Use the DATABASES BY SUBJECT link from the Library home page to search specifically in a database that deals with your subject area of interest such as Sociology, Chicano/Chicana Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies, or Education.
PROQUEST NEWSPAPERS: Full-text of 300+ U.S. and international news sources. Includes coverage of 150+ major U.S. and international newspapers such as The New York Times and the Times of London, plus hundreds of other news sources and news wires.
Most public libraries provide access to a database called Opposing Viewpoints. This database offers pro/con arguments on many topics. If you have a current library card for your home town library, you can access their databases from any computer by logging in with your library card number. All California residents can obtain a City of Los Angeles library card and all Los Angeles County residents can obtain an LA County library card. So, you not only have access to your local, city library, but you can also access materials and databases held by these larger library systems.
If you decide to go out on the World Wide Web for information be aware that not all websites are created equally. Some sites are valid sources of information, such as government sites, but others are rife with opinion represented as fact. Then there are sites like Wikipedia which seem valid, however, there is no check and balance process to ensure that the information posted is correct. Wikipedia is great to introduce you to the general background on a subject and, often, the bibliography or references area can provide reliable resources to help you begin your research process. But, remember, Wikipedia is not a scholarly source for academic research. DO NOT CITE IT.
In general, use the guidelines below to assess the authoritative value of a particular website or online source to help ensure its credibility:
- Ask WHO? Who's behind the information on the site and what are their credentials? Do the creators or authors of the website have qualifications in the field or are there other reasons that ensure the trustworthiness of the website? Is contact information available?
- Ask WHAT? Is the information up-to-date? What type of information is found on the site? Is the information accurate, misleading, incomplete, or advocating for a cause or sale of a product? Are there broad, sweeping generalizations that are difficult to verify? Does the website provide links to other authoritative sources? Are there spelling or grammatical errors?Are there sources provided and are they well cited?
- Ask WHERE? What does the URL tell you? Is it a .gov, .edu, .com, .org, site or something else? Does the information on the site support its URL address? Is the site well designed and easy to navigate?
- Ask WHEN? When was the page created or last updated? Do the links work?
- Ask WHY? Is the website an attempt to sell you something, change your mind or educate you about an issue? Is there a mission, purpose statement or other description as to why the website was put online? What types of readers would be interested in this information?
The reason Wikipedia is not recommended is because it is very difficult to answer "WHO," "WHEN," and "WHY."
For more information, you might want to take a look at this YouTube video or check out our guide on Evaluating Web Resources.
Useful Scholarly Websites
BEST INFORMATION ON THE NET
This site offers Internet resources selected by librarians at St. Ambrose University. Check out the reliable websites for hot paper topics.
is a virtual library of Internet resources geared towards the university community. 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. Not all links are current or updated, however, and searching can be frustrating.
THE LIBRARIANS' INTERNET INDEX
This site aims to provide a well-organized point of access for reliable, trustworthy websites. All links on the Index are selected and approved by librarians before inclusion.
PROS and CONS of CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES
The site covers the pro/con arguments of 42 current controversial issues. If you find a source of information that works for your research topic, you may need to look up the full text of the article or book chapter. Use the Library catalog or databases to continue your research. Another similar site is DEBATEPEDIA or IDEBATE from the International Debate Education Association.
ACLU.org: The home page of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Language Policy Website: a listing of articles on the topic.
USA.gov: The official web portal of the US government, with links to all sorts of information.
U.S. English: The page of U.S. English, Inc., which describes itself as "the nation's oldest, largest citizens' action group" advocating for English as the official national language.
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." (source: Oxford English Dictionary)
Instances of plagiarism include:
- Quoting or paraphrasing someone's work in your paper without citing it
- Expressing someone else's ideas as your own
Plagiarism is a serious matter and could result in a lower or failing grade and even expulsion from the University.
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.
How can I avoid it? - You can avoid plagiarism by giving credit where credit is due and always citing your sources. Whenever you insert a quotation, re-word information you got from a source or present an idea developed by someone else, be sure to include a citation in the proper style (MLA for this class). It is important to take detailed notes on where you are finding information for your paper as you find it. This helps to ensure you will cite the information correctly as you begin writing your paper.
Test your knowledge about plagiarism with this fun, online game, Goblin Threat, from Lycoming College.
This course requires that you use MLA style to cite your sources. This style of formatting and citation is usually used in the humanities and maintained by the Modern Language Association. Although there are online citation editors that will cite sources automatically, it is essential that you first understand how to do it on your own. These web sites are not always updated and can often be incorrect. If your professor is a stickler for correct citation usage, then he will notice the errors almost immediately.
We keep an MLA handbook at the Reference Desk if you need to take a look at it when preparing your citations and bibliography. Some examples of bibliography citations are below:
Piper, Andrew. "Rethinking the Print Object: Goethe and the Book of Everything."
PMLA 12.1 (2006): 124-38. Print.
Jeromack, Paul. "This Once, a David of the Art World Does Goliath a Favor."
New York Times 13 July 2002, late ed.: B7+ . Print.
Habord, Janet. The Evolution of Film: Rethinking Film Studies. Cambridge:
Polity, 2007. Print.
As you can see, each of these looks slightly different. In general though, the format is similar. Titles of books and journals are in italics, while book chapters or article titles are in quotes. The hanging indent (the space on the second line of the citation) is an important feature to keep in mind.
The library has a more detailed tutorial on Citing Sources that you might want to take a look at.
Another excellent resource is the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL). The OWL is a very popular resource that can experience technical problems during periods of high usage; so, be prepared and don't wait until the end of the semester to take a look at it.
- Use multiple search terms and combine them using AND, OR and NOT.
- Try using synonyms for your search terms.
- Notice the Subject terms for the articles that meet your need and search on those terms.
- Use database limiters to reduce search results to those of high relevance
- Search in multiple databases; they are all different.
- If using Google Scholar, use it from the link on the Library home page.
- If using information found on the Web, use only authoritative web sites.
- Keep track of your citations!
- Don't let yourself get frustrated; ask for help either from your professor or a librarian.
- Relax, enjoy the process and just think about how much you are learning!
ABSTRACT - a brief summary of the main content of an article.
APA - a citation and formatting style used in the social sciences. APA represents the American Psychological Association.
CITATION - the basic information you need to find or cite the full-text of an article; includes article title, author's name, name of publication, date, volume & issue no. and page numbers.
DATABASE - a collection of information that is organized and easily searchable; usually in reference to electronic information.
FULL-TEXT - the complete article.
JOURNALS (scholarly or peer reviewed) - are written for experts by experts in a field. These journals are published for an academic audience. The articles undergo a thorough peer review process before they are published. This review process makes scholarly articles more reliable and more useful for researchers.
MAGAZINE - a publication with popular interest articles and broad subject coverage. Targeted to the general public or specific interest groups.
MLA - a citation and formatting style used in the humanities. MLA represents the Modern Language Association.
PERIODICALS - are publications that are issued at regular intervals including journals and magazines.