Understand Your Assignment

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How to find
INFORMATION
for your
assignments
Information Age
= Information Overload?
“How do I sort through
it all to find what I
need?!”
This is where the Library
comes in…
The Library can provide
the quality of information
you need for your
assignments!
We’re here to help!
See us at the Information Desk
if you need any assistance in the Library!
474-3450 ext. 4221
[email protected]
“But how do I find information
in the Library?”
First step...
Make sure you understand your assignment!
Take the time to carefully read it over.
What is it you are expected to do?
If something isn’t clear to you,
ask your instructor.
Choose a topic…
Pick something you’re interested in.
Make your topic specific.
Do some background reading.
Look up unfamiliar terms.
Background Reading
• Reference books
• Your course textbook
• Check the Catalogue for other
books related to your topic
www.eclibrary.ca
This is where you begin when looking for
Library sources of information.
To find reference books you can
use online…
www.eclibrary.ca → E-Resources
Select Reference…
Read the descriptions to help you
choose which reference source to use.
Next decide what kinds of
information you need…
Books?
Journal articles?
Newspapers?
Statistics & data?
Maps?
Government documents?
Websites?
Finding
books and articles...
Think of the main concepts
of your topic…
Sample topic:
What are the effects of global
warming on weather?
The main concepts are:
global warming
weather
Keywords
Global warming and weather are
called keywords.
They are what you use to search
for books and articles.
Finding Books…
www.eclibrary.ca → Catalogue
First choose how to search…
If you want books about a particular topic,
it is easiest to start with a Keyword Search.
Search using
single words or short phrases...
You can narrow a search by
adding another keyword…
Join multiple search terms with “and”.
Click on More Information
to see if the item is available.
Note the Call Number and Location
to help you find the book.
Call Numbers…
...act as a book’s address
on the shelves.
...are a combination of
letters and numbers.
... are read line by line.
QC
981.8
.C5
F446
2006
If the item is an E-Book…
Click on the link icon
to access the book online.
Find Course Reserves…
My Account
User ID = student number
PIN = birthdate (mmddyy)
Finding Articles...
Most of the Library’s
journals, magazines and newspapers
are available electronically
through databases
that the Library subscribes to.
Journals, magazines and newspapers
in paper or microform formats
are kept in the
Periodicals Collection
at the back of the Library.
What’s the difference
between a
journal and a magazine?
Journal Articles
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Scholarly
Written by subject experts
Report on original research
Specific audience
Usually > 5 pages
Abstracts
References
Usually no pictures
No advertisements
Magazine Articles
• General-interest
• Written by reporters,
feature editors
• Meant to entertain
• Wide audience
• Usually < 5 pages
• No abstracts or references
• Glossy, with pictures
• Advertisements
You can search the Library
databases for articles on a topic.
The advantage?
You can search
several publications
at once!
www.eclibrary.ca → E-Resources
Select a subject or a type of
resource to access databases...
General databases provide articles
on a variety of subjects. Other
databases are subject-specific.
Designing Your Search
Use single words or short phrases
that best represent
the main ideas of your topic.
Join 2 or more search terms with “and”.
Searching for articles in
Academic Search Premier…
If you get too many articles, you
need to narrow your search.
Adding another search term…
...results in fewer, more relevant results.
Clicking on a subject heading
adds it to your search…
You can select Academic Journals
This will limit your results to these
publications only.
To find out more about an article,
hold your cursor over the
article preview icon
To get the article citation,
click on the title…
To get the full article…
Look for a full text link…
Or click on
Off-Campus Access to E-Resources
Nipissing students:
Username = WebAdvisor ID
Password = WebAdvisor password
Canadore students:
Username = student number
Password = birthdate (mmddyy)
To see if the Library has the
journal, magazine or newspaper
you need...
Enter the title of the publication...
Journals by Title indicates the dates and
formats of publications held by the Library.
Evaluating your information…
...is an essential step in any
kind of research!
No matter where your
information comes from,
you need to look at it
critically to decide if it is
suitable for your
assignment.
Ask yourself a few questions...
Is the author qualified to write on the topic?
Is the information current?
Is it accurate?
Is the article unbiased?
Is it relevant to your assignment?
Make sure you keep track of all the
sources you use for information…
You will need to acknowledge all your
sources in a list of references.
Not doing so constitutes
plagiarism
which is a serious academic offense.
Need help in the Library?
Please come to the
Information Desk
if you need any assistance in the Library!
Or contact us at:
474-3450 ext. 4221 or
[email protected]
Questions?
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