FS 111 Blake

Instructor: Timothy Blake

Librarian:Steven Burks
Office: Library 210
Phone: ext 2354
Email: sburks@smcvt.edu
Reference Hours

The Plan - Researching Your "Personal Narrative Project"

After an introduction to the library resources, you will use class time to research and gather information as it applies to the personal narative you have chosen. The last 10 minutes of our session we will review the information you gathered. How do you evaluate and cite the information sources you found, particularly as it relates to sources you use when writing a paper?

Search Statement

It is helpful to start with a search statement that defines your topic. Use the main topics of your search statement to determine keywords that will be useful to research your topic in book and article databases.

Example Search Statement:

Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey - His environmental philosophy and its impact on his fiction work

Desert Solitaire Edward Abbey Fiction Works Environment
Criticism Biographies Monkey House Gang Ecoterrorism
Book reviews Letters

Consider which subject field your research topic falls under. Environmental Science, History, English Criticism, Anthroplogy.... Find the subject guides for a specific field of study to lead you to resources to research your topic


Oxford English Dictionary
Electronic full text version of the most complete historical dictionary of the English language.

Britannica Online

Credo Reference
Online reference source. Search online literature encyclopedias and dictionaries.

Reference Universe
A searchable database of the Saint Michael's College Library reference collection.

CQ Researcher - Balanced review of topical issues - abortion, drug use, etc

Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center - An online library of current event topics: the facts as well as the arguments of each topic's proponents and detractors.

Print Reference Sources - Biographical, Gender Studies, Country Studies
I'll bring to class a variety of Reference Works you can use

Article Databases:

Research by Subject - You may choose different research search engines by subject using the Research by Subject link.

Newspapers- Use the News Quick Search

Old (primary) newspaper articles from the 1900's - Historical Newspapers

Newsreels, documentaries - American History in Video
- The Sixties: The Years That Shaped a Generation

Literary Resource Center


Search for crticism/biographies in  the Durick Library:

Library Catalog
- Books, DVDs,


Citing Sources

Evaluating Your Sources Scholarly/Peer Reviewed Journal Articles
Start identifying sources that either "primary" (the original peer reviewed research or secondary) See --Checklist: What are Peer Reviewed Research Journals

Evaluating and Selecting Resources

Primary Sources

Evaluating Internet Sources
Remember to evaluate Internet information for bias or being backed by special interests. Actually, information from any source should be evaluated by:

Objectivity (Bias)

Be cautious of any source that can not provide that information. (Review The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: or, Why It's a Good Idea to Evaluate Web Sources )

Example sites to evaluate: Pacific Northwest Tree Octupus

Learn What Matters