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Comp 100: Composition (Doughty): 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. 

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 the "Browse Issues" section in the Opposing Viewpoints Database

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. 

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

Locating Online Resources - Databases

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. 

Best Bet Databases for your assignment!

Additional Databases!

Database Searching Tutorial

Searching databases may be new to you. While the content in databases will differ, some of them are owned by the same company. This fact means that the searching platform will look the same across multiple databases. Below is a video tutorial on how to search an EBSCO database called Academic Search Complete. 

Locating Print Sources at Milne Library

One way to locate print resources is through the Milne Library Catalog. To access the library catalog, click on the “library catalog” tab on the library’s homepage. You will need to remote checkout the book. 

The second way is through Worldcat. To access Worldcat, click on the Databases link in the left hand side menu. Then click on the W. Then scroll down until you see “Worldcat (OCLC First Search Legacy Interface). By searching through Worldcat, you have the ability to see books that Milne Library and other libraries worldwide own. If you would like a book that Milne library doesn’t own, you will request it through ILLiad.

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

Below are a few titles that may be helpful for your research. 

How to Use Remote Checkout

Hello!

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. 

Search & Discover

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. 

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.

Evaluating Websites

If you are going to use websites for your research, it is important to make sure that the website is reliable. There are many different ways to evaluate websites. One easy way is by using the CRAAP test. 

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 social 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. 

Help

Librarians are available to help in several ways: 

  • Call the Reference Desk at 607-436-2722
  • E-mail a question to a librarian and receive a response 
  • Request a Research Consultation to meet individually (and virtually) with a librarian
  • Chat with a Librarian using the Chat Box below