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ENG 099 — Basic Writing Workshop - Nancy Armstrong

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Contact Information

Carol Dales


University Library Basic Information

Locating & Checking Out Books

Electronic Books

Locating Journal Articles

Journal article databases for ENG 099

Finding Journal Articles

Off-campus Access

Search Tips

Scholarly Internet Research

Avoiding Plagiarism & Citing your Sources

University Library Basic Information

Basic Library Information

Library Location

Library Hours

Reserve Desk

Library Guides

Ask a Librarian

Reference Desk

Locating & Checking Out Books

Finding Books and eBooks

  • Use ToroFind Online Catalog (Find books/eBooks/ textbooks) under "Research Tools"

  • Use either your own keywords or ask librarians to help you with official Subject Headings you can use to look for books on your topic (libraries use Library of Congress Subject Headings to describe the contents of books and other materials listed in the library catalog). For instance:

    • College student orientation-Handbooks, manuals, etc
    • English language--Grammar--Handbooks, manuals, etc.
    • People with disabilities
    • College students with disabilities-Legal status, laws, etc.-United States
    • People with disabilities-Education-United States
    • Barrier-free design
    • Assisted suicide

  • Regardless of the topic you search, many of the newest books on your subject will be ebooks: books that have been scanned in and which you can access from home using the library website.

  • To locate a print book on the library shelves once you have found it listed in our catalog,  read about our Shelving Locations. If you are unable to locate the book(s) you want, please ask library staff for help!
  • To check out books, you will have to produce your valid CSUDH campus ID card --don't forget to take it with you as substitute ID is not accepted!

  • Books are loaned for a period of 28 days; you may check out up to 30 books at a time.
    Read more about our
    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.

  • If you can't locate what you want, please ask library staff for help!!! 

Electronic Books

Many more electronic books will appear in your results for most subject searches you do in the Library's Torofind online catalog.

Locating Journal Articles

To find journal articles on a particular topic, we use a special index called an online database.

Libraries subscribe to online databases so their users can search for and read journal, magazine and newspaper articles when on or off campus.

Terms you should know before you search online databases:

  • DATABASE : an organized collection of information, especially electronic information.
  • JOURNAL (also called SCHOLARLY JOURNAL): scholarly publication published for an academic audience; narrow focus, deeply researched, all articles approved before publication by a group of experts working in the same field as the author (this approval process is called peer review)
  • MAGAZINE: publication with popular interest articles and broad subject coverage
  • 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.
  • ABSTRACT : a brief summary of the main content of an article
  • FULL TEXT : the complete article

Journal article databases for ENG 099
  • Academic Search Premier: indexing, abstracts and high percentage of full text articles from journals in social sciences, humanities, education, arts & literature, ethnic studies and more.
  • ERIC (Education Resources Information Center): the best database for education subjects; includes both journal articles and miscellaneous educational materials. 
  • Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature: indexing, abstracts and high percentage of full text articles from popular publications (Time Magazine, National Geographic) as well as several scholarly ones such as Science.
  • ProQuest Newspapers: searches the full-text of over 500 national and international newspapers written in English, including Los Angeles Times and New York Times.
  • CQ Researcher Online: objective and balanced treatment of current issues and hot topics; every 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. 

Finding Journal Articles

You can get journal articles by going to the library home page and looking at the options under  "Research Tools". Choose one of these options:

Once you are logged in to a database, you can start to search for your article. Search options vary depending on the database, but you will usually see several search boxes you can fill out. 

Articles you can read will have a link to the PDF full text or the HTML full text. Click on the link to read the article. Some databases also let you e-mail yourself the files by clicking on an e-mail link.

If the full text of an article is not in the database you are searching, it will have a red and white "Find it @ CSUDH Lib" button instead of a link to the full text. Click the button to see if there are any databases that do have the full text of that article.
If there are no databases containing the article you want, you can request it via Inter-Library Loan (takes about a week).

Off-campus Access

If you are on the CSUDH campus, you can access all of our online databases and ebooks without any further steps. Just click on the database name in the Database List and you will go directly to the search screen. 

If you are off campus, you will have to log in using your username and password, the same information you use to log in to Blackboard, MyCSUDH and your campus email. When you click on a database name from off-campus, you will see a screen asking you for this information.

After you enter your username and password, you will be able to access our online databases and ebooks just as you would on campus. 

Search Tips

Once you are successfully logged in to a database, read the instructions (Help screen) to figure out how the database works. 

To develop an effective search, look at your topic or research question and break it down into keywords. Then think of any synonyms for each of the keywords. For example: Do video games contribute to violent behavior in children?

KEYWORDS  video games    violence children
SYNONYMS   gaming aggression   youth

Your first search becomes: video games AND violence AND children

  • When doing a keyword search, try to find one article that is exactly what you need.
    Look at its subject terms (sometimes you have to click on the article title to see them) and do another search with those new subject terms:

      --If the database has a Thesaurus or Subject Guide, you can also look there to find correct search terms for your topic.
  • Try to think of your search for articles as a process that may require you to make several different searches in a row before you find articles that are really right for your topic.

  • Did you find too many articles?

                  -Use more specific search terms 
                  -Limit by language, publication, date, full text, peer reviewed.
                  -Use search terms from the database subject guide or thesaurus)
                  -Narrow your search by adding more search terms with AND

  • Did you find too few articles? None? Out-of-context?

                -Use different search terms, synonyms, alternate terms and phrases
                -Check your spelling 
                -Use truncation (child* = child, child's, children and other words 
                 that begin with child.)      
                -Broaden your search by joining synonyms with OR
                -Search a different database
                -Ask for help!!! 

Scholarly Internet Research

Remember, not all web sites are created equal. 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?

Are you overwhelmed by the number of websites on your topic???
Try these reliable websites (way faster and better than Googling!):

  • The Hot Topics Guide is a selection of guides on popular topics with authoritative sources to help students gather excellent information for their papers and projects, compiled by librarians at St. Ambrose University. This can be a good place to look even if you haven't decided what to write about.
  •  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.
  • Internet Public Library  provides a well-organized point of access for reliable, trustworthy, librarian-selected websites, covering California, the nation, and the world. All links on the Index are selected and approved by librarians before inclusion: "Information You Can Trust"!


Avoiding Plagiarism & Citing your Sources

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." (from OED)

If you quote or paraphrase someone's work without citing it, you are plagiarizing their work. Plagiarism is a serious offence, 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!  You can commit plagiarism without meaning to, and it's just as serious a problem even if you didn't intend to do it. 

How can I avoid plagiarism? - Always cite your sources. Whenever you use a quotation or borrow information from a source, 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, since it prevents you from forgetting what is your own work and what is borrowed from others. 

For more on plagiarism, take a look at Plagiarism.org.

For a lot more information about how NOT to plagiarize, check out our new
plagiarism tutorial  (and don't forget to try out the interactive game at the end of the tutorial!).