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.
If you are stuck trying to decide on a topic for your paper, there are a few ways to generate ideas.
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 Link on the left hand side of the library website. You can then click on the subject drop down menu and scroll down until you see “Reference (General Encyclopedias and Databases). Click on that and you should see four databases that will help get you started searching in the reference collection.
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.
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.
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.
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: