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COMP 100: Composition (McDermott) Spring 2014: Home

Course Information

COMP 100: Composition  (Spring 2014)   URL:   

Professor J. McDermott; Librarian Kay Benjamin,

Searching Tips

  • Consider limiting web searches to educational web sites. Or compare college coverage of a topic to government or commercial web site coverage.

key word(s) site:edu   EXAMPLE:   college cafeteria food wast* site:edu

  • To search a specific college web site use the following code. Simply replace the college name with the school you want to search.

key word(s) site:[college name].edu   EXAMPLE: sustainability

  • Consider adding words such as statistics, issues, report*, to your web searches to find more focused results. This tip applies to searching databases, as well.

EXAMPLE:  drug arrests college campus* statistic*

Newspaper Databases

Newspapers are the best way to explore local news on any of the topics you can chose from. It might be interesting to compare local newspaper coverage to national newspaper coverage.

Newspapers on Microfilm in Miline Library

The following newspapers are on microfilm in the Periodical Room on level P in the library. These are in the cabinets alphabetically by title of the newspaper. Use the microform machine on the right side immediately inside the door to make copies and save them to a USB drive.

Daily Star - (1974-present)
State Times - (1945-present)

Where to Start: Finding Information Using Library Research Tools


This is default search on the library home page. This will search across many library's databases and the library catalog. The results from a search will be very large; use the limiters on the left side of the page to refine and narrow your results. The most useful of the limiters are listed below:

  • Type: Select to narrow the results to only "Academic Journals" or "Magazines" or "Books."
  • Subject:  Click on "Show More" to see a list of all the subject categories. You can select multiple subjects. Subjects at the top represent the largest number of results. Subjects at the bottom will give the fewest results.
  • Geography: Useful if you wish to restrict your results to a certain country or region of the world.
  • Location: If you are looking for books you can limit to print or electronic owned by Milne Library, among other things.
  • Source: Click on "Show More" for a complete list of every database in which results were found.

This is a good starting place for research, but you will want to use the databases (for articles) and catalogs (for books) listed below for more in-depth and precise searching.

Finding Periodical Articles Using General Databases

Periodicals are publications that come out on a regular, or periodic, basis. Examples include newspapers, magazines, and journals. Scholarly, or peer-reviewed, periodicals are appropriate for more serious research, while magazines, or popular, periodicals are intended for entertainment or information for general audiences. See the tab above to understand all the differences between types of periodicals.

Click on the Databases tab at the top of the library home page. Click on Browse All for an alphabetical list of all the databases. Click on the appropriate letter of the alphabet to select a specific database. 

Finding Periodical Articles - Examples of Subject Databases

Sometimes it is more effective to search a database that focuses on the subject area you are exploring. Here are some examples relevant to your current assignment. All of the following databases are linked from the library home page under Databases tab.

Finding an Article from a Citation

If you have the citation for a periodical article

  •        use the Journals tab on the top of the library home page
  •         type in the title of the journal or magazine
  •         look for that title in the list and follow the link to the database(s)
  •         follow the links to the correct issue of the periodical OR
  •         locate a "search" box to type in the title of the article
  •         If the library subscribes to the periodical in print or microform, this will be indicated as well. Follow the link(s) to see what years the library
            subscribes to.

Finding Books

The Classic Milne Catalog, WorldCat, and Google Books all search for books but in different ways. These three different tools are interconnected. A search in Google Books will lead you to books in WorldCat and the Milne Catalog. A search in the Milne Catalog can lead you to a book in Google Books. A search in WorldCat will find books in many libraries, including Milne Library.

  • Milne Online Catalog
    (Classic Catalog Tab)
    This searches the contents of Milne Library's online catalog, which is an index to the contents of the physical library along with a large electronic book collection. Use this if you need to find a book that you can use immediately. It cannot be used to find individual journal articles. Note the call number for the item and consult Library Floor Plans to determine the location.
  • WorldCat
    An online database listing materials in thousands of libraries worldwide. Holdings are indicated for Milne Library and Hartwick College. You can search by author, title, subject, and keyword. Look for the ILLiad Request via Interlibrary Loan link to ask Milne Library to borrow a book from another library. The book may take several days, or longer, to arrive here at Milne Library. You can also check out items at Hartwick College with your SUNY Oneonta ID card. Use WorldCat if you want to find all the books that have been written on a topic.
  • Google Books (
    Unlike WorldCat and MilneCat, which search only the author, book title, and chapter titles for a book, Google Books searches the full contents of books. Think of it as an index to the contents of millions of books. Sometimes you can read quite a bit of a book online, but printing is difficult and often images are missing. Once you find a good book, use the link to "Find a Library" to locate a copy of a book. This will take you to WorldCat, which will include books here at Milne Library, as well as books you can request via interlibrary loan.

Research Help

Librarians are available to help you in several ways:

  • Visit the Research Help Desk in Milne Library located on your left after you enter the library through the main entrance or through Jazzman's Cafe.
  • Call the Research Help  Desk at Milne Library at 607-436-2722. If the librarian is busy, you can leave a message on voice mail.
  • Email a question to a Milne librarian & get a response within 48 hours.
  • Request a research consultation to meet individually with a librarian.