For this Writing Workshop, we’re fortunate to have a guest post from Professor Berger, an Instruction and Scholarly Communications Librarian here at City Tech.
As you know, Unit 2 is all about research; this week we’re moving forward with finding, evaluating, and integrating sources. I’m so grateful to Professor Berger for sharing all of this helpful information, and for her support for our course and you all throughout the research process this semester.
Please read + annotate her post & the linked resources, and then come back here and participate in our Class Discussion. Everyone should join the conversation!
To get the ball rolling, once you’ve read through everything, comment below and do these three things:
- to say hi to Professor Berger
- share your research question with her
- ask a question about the library and/or doing research more generally
“Welcome to the library! The library is a welcoming place and City Tech’s librarians are very devoted to helping our students. Although this course is online, this post is an introduction to the library, virtual and in-person, and shares some highlights of what we have to offer.
I think the most important thing you can learn from this blog post is that City Tech librarians are here to help you. We teach you how to find and evaluate sources for your schoolwork, develop your topic and research question, and other related skills. Although we recommend you come to the ASK A LIBRARIAN desk and talk with us in person, we also provide a variety of online help options including 24/7 chat reference and research appointments. The chat reference is found on our homepage.
The library is located on the fourth floor of the Library Building. Here are some highlights of the physical library … In addition to books you can take home for eight weeks, the library has textbooks you can use in the library for two hours as well as calculators you can borrow for 1 or 2 days. We even have laptops, ipads, headphones, and many public computers as well. Study rooms are available for individual and group study and come with a computer. We have a large graphic novels collection under the staircase leading up to our upper floor. Lastly, we provide free scanning and students can print up to 150 pages per week.
Here’s an overview to help you with English 1101. Find quick information about the library in our student-focused Frequently Asked Questions or FAQs. On this same page, you’ll notice there is information about getting access to materials in the library. It’s easy. Just log in with your CUNY email address (the same address you use to register for classes, log into Blackboard, etc.).
Consider the library as a resource for certain types of genres. Although you will use the Internet to find videos, songs, websites, etc., you can find additional types of genres in the library. The most common genres you can find in the library include:
- Books and book chapters
- Newspaper articles
- Magazine articles
- Scholarly journal articles aka peer reviewed journal articles
The library has tutorials and guides to help you find sources in different genres and support your assignments for this course. Our guide for English 1101 has everything you need to teach yourself how to find sources in the library, evaluate any source, and learn MLA citation.
Getting Started: Start by watching our orientation video. It can be found in the GETTING STARTED tab of the guide for English 1101. We have a four minute video about a research question in the GETTING STARTED tab as well. This video will help you begin to narrow down your research question so it isn’t too broad.
Find Books: This section of the guide helps you find ebooks. You may find a book chapter which is much shorter and may be more specific. Don’t forget that if you find an ebook through the library, you can generate a citation from the record. Interesting in finding hard copy books? Here’s a guide.
Other useful tabs: EVALUATING SOURCES helps evaluate any source whether it is on the Internet or the library. BACKGROUND RESEARCH guides you through the process of learning more about your research topic through encyclopedia articles geared to college students. We think that knowing the basic facts about your topic is essential to further research. The encyclopedia articles you find through the library are usually 3-5 pages. They also may list sources on your topic you can use for your annotated bibliography. We particularly recommend Gale Virtual Reference Library. Scholarly vs. Popular Research will explain how they are different. If you are interested in a current event, take a look at the section on how to research current events which provides links to key newspapers.
Step-by-Step Research Activity: This is an interactive form that helps you easily find sources in the library walking you through the entire research process including getting background information and evaluation of your sources. The Step-by-Step Research Activity guides you to use Academic Search Complete which is a great all-purpose library database (collection of articles). You can also search the library’s search bar on the homepage but it is like Google. That means it is easy to use and that you get too many results.
Citation: Get help on MLA style in the final tab of the English 1101 guide. Did you know if you find a source that is based in the library, you can easily get a citation from the library search engine or the specific ebook, newspaper, magazine, or journal when you click through to the full text?
You can also email or download ebook chapters and articles from the library and get the citation with your email. Don’t forget to select MLA citation style! You can also try Zoterobib as an alternative to Easybib for generating citations to websites like YouTube.”