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COMP 100: Composition (Brown): Home

Welcome

Welcome to the Course Guide for COMP 100. Below you will find a selection of information and resources that will be helpful when completing assignments for this course. 

A helpful hint to remember is that research is exploratory process. Good research means that you will be searching different resources (databases, online, catalog, etc.) and you will search each one multiple times with different keyword combinations. 

Background Knowledge

When you begin a research project, it is a good idea to take a moment to reflect on your prior knowledge of the topic area. How much do you already know about this topic? How confident are you in moving forward with this topic? In most cases, you will need to do a bit of research to get some general information on your topic. 

A great way to gather background information is through searching reference materials. Reference materials such as Encyclopedias and Dictionaries are arranged alphabetically and contain a general overview of a term or subject matter. The library has access to encyclopedias and dictionaries in print and online through particular databases. Some great general subject matter reference databases can be found by clicking on the Databases tab, then the "Browse by Discipline" link. You should then see a link for Reference. You can also click on a heading that relates specifically to your topic. You will most likely see a small blue icon with the letters "REF" next to a few of the database titles in the list. These are subject specific reference databases and will also be helpful in your searching. 

Below you will find a list of Reference titles that may be helpful in your research. This list is not exhaustive, but it is an example of the types of materials available. 

Locating Print Sources at Milne Library

Search & Discover provides sweeping access to books, ebooks, articles, movies, music, and more through a user-driven platform supporting your research interests. You can use Search & Discover without signing in. However, to access e-books, you will need to sign in when prompted.

There are two main ways to use Search & Discover.

Everything allows you to search simultaneously for books, ebooks, articles, movies, music, and more. You may use keywords, titles, authors, or phrases. Refine your results using the choices on the left. For example, if you want to discover the newest results then select Sort by. Explore Resource Type, also on the left, to get a sense of the various materials available to you.

Library Catalog is commonly used to search the physical collections of the James M. Milne Library, including ebooks, by an author’s name or a book’s title. You may also use keywords to search the library catalog, which contains the table of contents for many records. Subject headings are included in keyword searching and are assigned to all library catalog holdings.

While Everything and Library Catalog are two of the main searching functions in Search & Discover, there are others available for use. Child Collection, Course Reserves, EMC Media, NY State Collection, Reference, Special Collections (SCC), SUNY Catalog, and Young Adult (YA) are all options to choose from. These collections can be searched exclusively by selecting them in the top menu. For example, selecting Child Collection will include results only from that collection. 

***You can also check out items at Hartwick College with your SUNY Oneonta ID card.***

Locating Online Resources

Electronic articles can be searched through our databases. There are some general databases and some subject specific databases. To access the databases, click on the database tab on the library homepage. You can then browse through them alphabetically, or browse by discipline (i.e., gender studies, history, etc.). 

Below you will find a list of databases that will be helpful for your current assignment. It is not an exhaustive list, but it is a good place to start. 

Pick A Topic

If you are stuck trying to decide on a topic for your paper, there are a few ways to generate ideas. 

  1. Scan newspaper headlines 
  2. Browse chapter titles in your textbook
  3. Check out what's trending 
  4. Use a Topic Idea Generator
  5. Use the "Browse Issues" section in the Opposing Viewpoints Database

Understanding the Lingo

Conducting research can be difficult when you are unfamiliar with the terms being used to describe certain types of items. If your instructor asks you to use a periodical, would you know what they meant? If you had to locate the call number in an item’s record, could you? It is important to familiarize yourself with what particular library words mean. 

Refer back to some of the handouts received in class. The Definitions handout and Types of Periodicals chart will be particularly useful to keep. 

Citation

Whenever you use information from an article in your paper (either through direct quoting or paraphrasing), you need to create a citation.

There are three main citation styles – MLA, APA, and Chicago. MLA tends to be the citation style preferred by the arts and humanities discipline. APA is the citation style that is typically used by the science disciplines. Chicago style is primarily used by the history discipline.

The library has created handy guides for you, which can be found by visiting the library homepage and clicking on the “Citing Sources” link located under the Reference and Instruction heading. This link also contains additional resources that may be helpful for you.

The library’s citation guides are also available in print near the Research Help Desk. 

Interlibrary Loan

The ILLiad system enables current SUNY Oneonta students, faculty, and staff to obtain academic and intellectual materials from other libraries. Your ILLiad account will allow you to:

  • -- borrow items from other libraries
  • -- make online requests for periodical articles from other libraries
  • -- review the status of your requests
  • -- check due dates of outstanding loans
  • -- ask for renewals
  • -- and much more.

Help

Librarians are available to help in several ways: 

  • Visit the Reference Desk in Milne Library
  • Call the Reference Desk at 607-436-2722
  • E-mail a question to a librarian and receive a response within 48 hours
  • Request a Research Consultation to meet individually with a librarian