Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Junior History Paper : Libguide

For those juniors who have yet to conduct your thesis interview with one of the librarians (or juniors who have had the interview, but need a little more guidance), here is a little tutorial on the Libguide Junior Research Paper : Step 1.

Let's Get Started

From the library home page,

I like to say that this particular LibGuide is the Pesky librarians' ultimate and curated gift to the junior class. The site houses almost all that you need to achieve that elusive A on your research paper. Just add historic curiosity, the craft of writing and voila!

This LibGuide :
  •  provides NoodleTools access
  •  highlights our best US History databases  
  • recommends academic approved websites
  • provides entry to JSTOR, the mother ship of academic articles.

If you are not familiar with NoodleTools, it's time you should be. NoodleTools takes so much tedium out of the research process, leaving you more time to grapple with that topic you are so passionate about! This application can take an ISBN number and turn it into an instant Chicago style citation for your bibliography and offers a user friendly note card program.
NoodleTools makes older folks reminisce (and gripe) about what it took for us to annotate on a typewriter. After we walked both ways uphill in a snowstorm to school, of course!
Really though, NoodleTools is not to be overlooked as your new favorite least until your research paper is over and done with.

On the right side of the guide, you will see a box titled U.S. History Databases. These are databases that we subscribe to and pay for. We highlight four of the more general databases for US History research, but there is also a link to ALL of our current databases. For future reference and research, take a look at all of the other resources offered here, such as :

African American Experience  - The history and culture of African Americans, as well as the greater Black Diaspora.

Boston Globe - Comprehensively indexed (different sections of the paper, companies, people, products, obituaries, etc.).

Science Reference Center - Books, magazines, academic journals, and newspaper articles on topics in science.

Sharpe Online Reference - Encyclopedia articles, an image gallery, primary documents, foreign perspectives on the United States, web links, and teacher’s resources on early America, economic history, Ancient and Modern worlds, conflicts, global history, terrorism, and world trade.

In terms of just using better search engines, we suggest some of our favorites in the Web Search box.
If you are most comfortable with Google, that's fine, but maybe kick up the intellect a notch by trying "advanced Google". This way you can search for information by a specific domain, such as .edu, .mil or .gov.

Of course, all great presents must have a finale of sorts, and thus we give you....JSTOR! Your online virtual archive of millions of scholarly journals, articles and books. I recommend mentioning your regular use of JSTOR in any college essay, because it is a very impressive and scholarly thing to do ;)
Once you have registered for your BPL ecard, the knowledge at your fingertips is infinite with JSTOR. Be warned, however, that the archives can overwhelm even the most adept researcher. JSTOR is sometimes best for those who may have a topic that is more heady or obscure.

We have been impressed with the personal approach so many of you seem to be taking with the research this year and look forward to helping you in any way that we can. We also very much enjoy when you bring your grand opus back for us to read, for it is such a rite of passage for you to complete such an academic undertaking. Good Luck and keep us up to date on your progress!

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