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Table of Contents:

Indexes and Databases
We have a lot of databases for different subjects. Some have full text articles, others do not. In most cases you can find a "find it!" button that will show you which articles we have here and will help you make an interlibrary loan (ILL) request for those we don't.
  • Academic Search Premier,uid&profile=ehost&defaultdb=aph

    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.
  • LexisNexis Academic

    Search current news, business information (including business news and corporate financials), and legal news and information. International news sources are also included.
  • 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).
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.
  • Prose/Poetry/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 (Reference PN 1022 .H39) and Play Index (Reference PN 1655 .P63) 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.
    • Other sources of inspiration:

Finding Books
  • 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.
  • St. Peter Public Library

    If you're looking for more popular fiction, the St. Peter Public Library is just a few blocks from campus. If you head down (east) College Ave. and take a left (north) onto Washington, the library is two blocks from there in the Community Center. The library is open 10 AM - 8 PM Monday-Thursday, 10 AM - 5 PM Friday, 9 AM - 12 noon Saturday, and closed Sundays and holidays. For more information, call 934-7420.
Reference Works
Once you've identified a topic that you are interested in, it is important to gather some background information. You may find your topic is too broad or too narrow. Reference works can provide helpful summaries of topics and point you to other resources on your topics. You might try:
  • CQ Researcher
    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
    Compiles newspaper editorial opinion from throughout the United States. Published twice monthly, Editorials On File� offers politically and geographically balanced range of opinions, grouped by theme, on hundreds of current topics from scores of newspapers. Every issue presents�through cover cartoons and reprints of actual newspaper editorial columns�the full range of opinion on 6�10 significant topics. The library's subscription runs through 2009.
  • Encyclopedia of Associations
    A comprehensive source of detailed information on over 135,000 nonprofit membership organizations.
    • Location(s): Ready Ref AS 22 .E5 2011
  • Gallup Poll
    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
    • Location(s): Ref HN 90 .P8 G35
  • Or try one of our many specialized encyclopedias:
    • Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World (Ref DS 35.53 .O96 2009)
    • Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine (Ref R 733 .G34 2009)
    • Encyclopedia of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy (Ref GE 42 .E533 2009)
    • Encyclopedia of Organic, Sustainable, and Local Food (Ref HD 9005 .E645 2010)
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 Citing Your Sources

Learn how to cite your resources in MLA, APA, and Chicago Style. In addition to these online style guides, print style guides (and The Everyday Writer) are available both at the library reference desk and at the Writing Center (Confer 232). This page also includes links to RefWorks and EndNote Web.

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