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Information Resources and Services for:
COM 243: Forensics and Speech Institute Resources

Spring 2009
Finding Information

The library has many tools to help you conduct research on your topics. Use this guide to explore a selection of sources available to you. If you have questions, encounter problems, or simply want to talk about your topic, stop by the Reference Desk to chat with any of our librarians. You are also more than welcome to contact me directly at mtwait@gac.edu or x7563.




Table of Contents:

Selecting a Topic
This can often be the most difficult and time-consuming step. Here are some tips for both informative/persuasive topics and also for prose/poetry/drama.
  • Poetry/Prose/Drama
    • Ask yourself if you'd like to focus on a work by a particular author or perhaps an author from a certain country (look in the PQ section of the Reference Collection).
    • If you have a particular subject in mind, use the Poetry Index and Play Index to find works addressing that topic.
    • Browse through recent issues of magazines like American Poetry Review, Canadian Literature, or Minnesota Review.
    • Series like: Best American Short Stories, Pushcart Prize, Best American Short Plays, Humana Festival, etc.
    • Look at anthologies of plays, short stories, or poetry - these anthologies may be compiled by author, time period, geographical region, or subject.
Reference Books
Reference books are an excellent place to start your research. These specialized encyclopedias provide overviews of topics, giving you both a sense of the scope of the topic and good search terms! Some reference books also have suggestions for further reading; locate these books and articles to use as sources in your paper.
  • CQ Researcher
    Washington, D.C. : Congressional Quarterly Inc.
    In-depth, analytical reporting on the most current and controversial issues of the day. Published by Congressional Quarterly, with its tradition of nonpartisan reporting and analysis, each CQ Researcher presents a balanced account of an issue on the public agenda. The objective, forward-looking reporting that characterizes these articles is designed to encourage discussion, to help readers think critically and to facilitate further research.
    • Location(s): Ref H 35 .E352 [year]
  • Editorials on File

    [Resource no longer available]
  • Encyclopedia of Associations
    Detroit, Gale Research Co. 2011
    A comprehensive source of detailed information on over 135,000 nonprofit membership organizations.
    • Location(s): Ready Ref AS 22 .E5 2011
  • Gallup Poll
    Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources 1972-present
    An annual compilation of opinion poll statistics gathered by the Gallup Organization, covering from 1935 to the present. Indexes make it easy to find figures from different years. This organization also maintains a website which contains selected data at Gallup.com.
    • Location(s): Ref HN 90 .P8 G35
  • Or you might try one of our many specialized encyclopedias:
    • Encyclopedia of Bioethics (Ref QH 332 .E52)
    • Gale Encyclopedia of Children's Health (Ref RJ 26 .G35 2005)
    • Encyclopedia of Politics and Religion (Ref BL 65 .P7 E53 2007)
    • Encyclopedia of American Education (Ref LB 17 .U54 2007)
Finding Books
For books in the Gustavus library, use the MnPALS catalog. Write down the call number and location information. Use the maps on the library's website, the tags on the sides of shelves, or stop at the Reference Desk to figure out where your book is shelved. To request books from other libraries, visit the Interlibrary Loan page for more information or use the FindIt! button in WorldCat.
  • MnPALS Plus
    The online catalog to the library at Gustavus Adolphus College. Choose "All Libraries" in the search options to search other MnPALS libraries (such as Minnesota State schools) and request books through Interlibrary Loan. View our MnPALS Plus tutorial.
  • WorldCat
    Includes over 40 million bibliographic records representing cataloged resources in 400 languages owned by libraries around the world. Materials date back to the 11th century. Owning libraries can be identified for books, journals, archival resources and electronic resources. Access to WorldCat is provided by the Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM); the database can also be searched through its free web interface, at worldcat.org.
    1000 CE-present; updated daily
Finding Articles
Search for articles in any of these databases. If the full text is not available through the database, click on the yellow FindIt! button. The FindIt! button will search all other databases and our print copies to see if we have access to the article. An SFX screen will pop up, directing you to full text options. If you see an option for ILL, it means we will have to request the article from another library. Click the Go button next to the ILL option to be taken directly to the ILL form.
  • Academic Search Premier
    The world's largest academic multi-disciplinary database, Academic Search Premier indexes nearly 8,050 publications and provides full text for nearly 4,600, including more than 3,500 peer-reviewed journals. Coverage also includes many newspapers and popular magazines and spans virtually every area of academic study since 1975. Updated daily. Access is provided by the Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM). View our Academic Search Premier tutorial.
    1975-present; updated daily
  • LexisNexis Academic
    Search current news, business information (including business news and corporate financials), and legal news and information. International news sources are also included.
    Coverage varies by title; mostly 1980s-present
  • ProQuest Newsstand
    Indexing and selected full text access to over 350 newspapers from around the world. Archival coverage begins in 1985 for some titles. Access is provided by the Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM).
    1986-present (most from 1995 on)
  • Literary Journals
    • Drama
      • Massachusetts Review - Academic Search Premier
      • Minnesota Review - located in the basement of the library
      • New England Review - located in the basement of the library
      • Paris Review - located in the basement of the library
Websites of Interest Additional Resources
Use these pages to explore other library resources.
  • Citing Your Sources
    Start here to find information on citing your sources in MLA, APA, and Chicago Style.
  • Reference Desk
    Hours for fall semester at the Reference Desk are: Monday - Thursday 10:00 - 5:00 & 6:00 - 10:00, Friday 10:00 - 5:00, and Sunday 12:00 - 8:00
Contacting Michelle
I'm happy to meet with you at any time to chat about your research. I can suggest additional sources, advanced search techniques, and troubleshoot problems you may encounter. Email me at mtwait@gustavus.edu or call x7563.

Page Coordinator: Michelle Twait mtwait@gac.edu
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