Eng 1213 -- Biggers

Library Tutorials: 

Introduction to the NSU Libraries
Research Strategy -- Provides steps and concepts involving the research process.
EbscoHost Searching Menu of tutorials about searching EbscoHost databases.
Citations and Plagiarism-- How to cite most common resources using MLA and APA

How is the NSU library organized?

     Physical Overview to the Library
Library of Congress

How do I use the databases?

As a topic is identified, choose key terms that describe the topic.  Consider synonyms, as well. Use the Articles and Databases Web page to identify useful databases. After selecting a database, use the Help screens for suggestions in using it effectively.  Try the thesaurus to determine subject headings used in the database.  Use boolean logic  to formulate a search strategy.  Go for exactly what you are trying to locate, and broaden the search if nothing is found.  If a subject heading is identified, use it.  When a good resource is found, check to see how it is indexed (what subject headings are used).

Information can be shared in a variety of formats and examples are as follows:
Books Shows trends, gives history of topic, provides definitions, theories Library Catalog

Journals Covers current research on scholarly topics Academic Search Premier

Articles and Databases
Magazines Report on popular topics, news Reader's Guide
Masterfile Premier
Newspapers Report on popular topics, news Newspaper Source Plus,
NewsBank Newsfile (Oklahoma papers)
New York Times
Government Publications

Publications on all topics prepared by federal and state agencies. NSU Government Publications
Audio Visuals Graphic representation of topic Library Catalog
Internet Provides quick, full text information, especially on current topics.


Internet Search Engines Available

Some reliable approaches to finding good Web sources can also be found at
JVL NSU Subject Listing of Web Resources

How do I know if a website is reliable?

We recommend you consider at least these five common elements of a website to decide if it is reliable:

Accuracy - author or institution that published the page, contact info. supplied
Authority - domain is .edu, .gov
Objectivity - limited or no advertising, not persuasive or bias
Currency - information updated recently, links work and go to other trustworthy sites
Coverage - no special software needed, no pop-ups or downloads, free to access information
Read more details about these criteria at Cornell Library.

One example of a reliable website that would be useful for this assignment is
Information about Presidential Candidates

How do I cite sources using M.L.A. style?

The Citations and Plagiarism tutorial provides a good overview to citing resources. The M.L.A. Handbook for Writers of Research Papers is located on the first floor at the call number, Ref. LB 2369.G53.  Also, try the MLA Web site and the Purdue OWL. For additional help in citing sources, try KnightCite Bibliography Machine.

How do I acquire materials not available at NSU?

Interlibrary loan is available free of charge in which books and copies of articles can be borrowed from other libraries.  Allow approximately two weeks for interlibrary loan requests to be received.

Can I access library resources from off campus?

Feel free to use this Web page for your research.  Many of the resources listed above are also available through the John Vaughan Library Home Page. With your userid and password, these resources may be used from any location at any time.

How can I find government information about my topic?

Our first inclination when starting research is often to search Google.  This can be a wonderful place to begin and by using "site:gov" in the search box with your search terms, the webistes will all have .gov in their address. While this will not cover all government sites, some are .us, .mil, .com, it will improve your search results.

The official Republican candidate's website will have links to their position on issues;
Mitt Romney - "Issues" drop-down at the top
Newt Gingrich - "Get the Facts" button
Rick Santorum - "Issues" tab at top of page

For President Obama's position on issues, the White House website has a section called Issues;

Other non-bias government information on issues can be found:
CRS Reports (Congressional Research Service from Library of Congress) - the first link from UNT and OpenCRS are the best sources.
GAO Reports (Government Accounting Office)
CBO Publications (Congressional Budget Office)
Government information by subject from St. Mary's University Library lead to other, credible websites with links to government information about a topic.

How do I get help?

The reference librarians are here to help you.  Feel free to contact us directly or go to the Reserve Desk and ask for us to be called.

    SophiaBeverley Threatt, MLS, MA
    Instructor of Library Services
    Languages and Literature and Communication, Art, & Theatre
    Resource Coordinator
    (918) 444-3267

Page maintained by: SB Threatt
Last Updated: 08/07/2012

Northeastern State University Libraries