Suggesting Resources and Starting Points

Determining the right sources to use, and evaluating those sources is an important skill we need all the time. It’s been called an art as well as work—much of which is detective work.

Each academic area has its own specialized vocabulary and research sources; do your students know where to look to find discipline-specific resources?

Helping them decide where to look, what clues to search for, and what to accept can go a long way toward helping them turn in quality assignments.

They may be overwhelmed with too much information or too little. For the student, the temptation is to accept whatever they find. When writing research papers or conducting research for a project, they will need to make decisions about what to search for, and where to look. Once a student finds material on the assigned topic, they still need to decide whether to use it.

Help them ask themselves some questions before they start.

You might also want to ask the library to setup some instruction and one on one assistance for help in narrowing topics and determining reference sources.

Some suggested questions you might want to pose to your students, or place in your assignment handout: What kind of information should you look for? Do you want facts? Opinions? News reports? Research studies? |Analyses? Personal reflections? History?

Where would be a likely place to look? Which sources are likely to be most useful to you? The library? Academic journals? Newspapers? Government records? The Internet?

Common sources of information the students can find in the library:

Current event: a reliable newspaper like the NY Times

Statistics on some aspect of the U.S. population?
United States Statistical Abstract
United States census reports (available online)

Scholarly interpretations of literature:
Academic periodicals and books are likely to have what you’re looking for - go to the library's page.

Commercial products/Companies: Hoovers Company Capsules (available through the Library's subscription for EBSCOhost) as well as company web sites with information

Local history: LeocatVoyager, the library's subscription to Newspaper Source (thru EBSCOhost), county public libraries, local government offices, or a local newspaper archive is likely to be the most useful.

Religion topics: The Cannon Memorial library has extensive religous holdings; start with LeocatVoyager, and include a search of the ATLA Religion database, which is available through the library's subscription to EBSCOhost. For general information, biblical interpretive texts, etc., we have a large selection of reference books available.

Psychology projects and papers: If you need scholarly articles, PsycInfo will have abstracts available. There will be a link to LeocatVoyager that says "check for holdings". If we own the journal, the citation from our card catalog will show when you click on that link. The article might also be available full text thru EBSCOhost or ProQuest. If you do not find the articles in any of those places, we can order it through InterLibrary Loan. For general information, psychological test, etc., we have a large selection of reference books available.

Science projects and papers: A good starting point would be the reference section of the library, as well as our online databases for scholarly articles --we subscribe to Academic Full Text Elite,which is available through the library's subscription toEBSCOhost, and General Science Index, which is available through the library's subscription to H.W. Wilson Omnifile.

English and Literature projects and papers: A good starting point would be the reference section of the library, as well as our online databases for scholarly articles --we subscribe to Contemporary Authors, Short Story Index, and Reader's Guide.

Military History, ROTC projects and papers: Designed to offer current news pertaining to all branches of the military, Military Library Fulltext database would be a good resource to examine, along with our selected website links for students.