FS 111 Examined Life

Instructor:  Robert Lair

Librarian: Michelle McCaffrey
Office: Library 210
Phone: ext 2411
Email: mmccaffrey@smcvt.edu
Reference Hours and Appointments


The Plan - Researching Your "Memoir Project"

After an introduction to the library resources, you will use class time to research and gather information as it applies to the memoir you will be writing.  The last 10 minutes of our session we will review the information you gathered.  How do you evaluate 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: 

The impact of the Vietnam War on Masculinity in the 1960's

Masculinity 1960's Vietnam War


Nineteen sixties
United States--History--1961-1969


Ho Chi Min
Viet Cong


Consider which subject field your research topic falls under.  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

The encyclopedia of sixties cool : a celebration of the grooviest people, events, and artifacts of the 1960's /   REF CT120 .S76 2007

The sixties in America / editor, Carl Singleton REF E841.S55 1999

Day by day, the sixties / by Thomas Parker and Douglas Nelson.   REF OVER D840 .P27

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


Search for books, DVDs, and other resources in the Durick Library:

Library Catalog
   - Books, DVDs,


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