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Tool of the Week: Opposing Viewpoints

October 23, 2017

Are you researching a controversial topic? Do you have to take an issue and explore different sides or viewpoints? Are you trying to find evidence to support your position on an issue? Take a look at Opposing Viewpoints Database!

Opposing Viewpoints is a library database which provides tons of useful information on thousands of current issues. In this database, you can:

  • Browse by subject and select a topic for research Screen shot of browse by subject under Energy and Environmentalism
  • View overview articles that present an issue and its facets
  • Find position essays, journal articles, news reports, and statistics related to your topic.

When you find the topic you want, read an overview article to learn about background, history, and major people, places, events, laws and issues to know. If you found a useful article, use the tools to save, print, download, or email it so that you can get back to it as you write your paper. And don’t forget to use the handy citation tool to create your MLA or APA citation!

Screenshot of topic overview on Oil Pipelines

Opposing Viewpoints can be found on our Research Databases homepage under “Controversial Topics” subject heading, and also through OneSearch. Access it from your device with just your W+ID and Password. Try it today!

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Get that Citation Right!

October 5, 2017

Your midterm research paper is due soon and your teacher is reminding your class that all papers will be checked for plagiarism. What do you need to do? You need to get those citations right!

You’ve found some great sources for your paper on the library website, and you’ve even started writing a couple of paragraphs. But how do you fit those sources into your paper the right way? What goes in your works cited list? You know you need quotation marks, but when exactly? Does the period go before or after the citation?

The CRC Library is here to help with a ton of citation resources to make your life easier and knowledgeable librarians who can answer your specific questions.

The first step is learning the rules for the citation style that you’ve been assigned. Here are some resources for the 3 most frequently used styles at CRC:

MLA Style Guide

APA Style Guide

Chicago Style Guide

Next, you need to know how to incorporate your sources into your paper without plagiarizing. Take a look at this Preventing Plagiarism guide for lots of writing tips and resources to make your life easier.  Remember these rules:

  • Include a citation any time you summarize, paraphrase, or quote information from a source.
  • Copy & Paste = Quote (don’t forget your quotation marks and citation)
  • Paraphrase effectively by reading your source, thinking about it, and waiting a bit before you try to write it in your own words (wait at least 5-10 minutes). When you try to paraphrase with the original source fresh in your mind, it’s hard to come up with your own words to describe the idea you learned from the source.

Looking for tools to make your citation life easier? Use the “Cite” tool in OneSearch or a library database to generate a citation for a source you’ve found in the citation style you need.screen shot of citation tool in OneSearch

Need help with a citation style not listed above? Ask a Librarian for assistance. We’ve got lots of other citation resources and can help you figure out the one you’ve been assigned.

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What’s a Scholarly source?

September 25, 2017

You’re reading your assignment instructions, and your prof. says to find “scholarly” sources… but what exactly are “scholarly” sources? Are they the same as “academic” sources? Does she mean credible sources? Where will I find these magical scholarly sources? Here’s a breakdown of what the term Scholarly means when it comes to research…

Scholarly sources usually refer to books or academic journal articles. They are sources written BY experts FOR experts (or students studying a professional field). They are usually the formal communication in a particular discipline (basically it’s the way that experts talk to their peers about the research they are doing). Scholarly sources usually have the following characteristics:

  • The Author is usually a subject expert. His/her credentials (ex. degrees, experience, affiliations) are usually listed.
  • The Content is usually in-depth. In some disciplines a scholarly journal article will present original (primary) research. In other cases, a scholarly source might synthesize research from a lot of other sources.
  • The Organization is very structured often with headings to introduce the different sections. Scholarly journal articles might include sections like abstract, introduction, methodology, results, and/or conclusions.
  • The Language is specialized. These sources often have jargon or terminology that is hard to understand.
  • There are References provided. The author includes citations, notes, and/or a bibliography for all the sources they used.
  • Journal articles are often Peer-Reviewed. This is a system of accountability whereby articles are reviewed by content experts before they are published.

How can I find a scholarly source? For journal articles, use the Scholarly/Peer-reviewed Link in OneSearch!

Screen capture of Scholarly/Peer-Reviewed limiter from Onesearch at the library

For Books, take a look at the author’s credentials, see where the book was published, and review the content and references to see if it is a scholarly source.

The words academic/credible are not interchangeable with “scholarly.” Credible sources could be any source (books, journals, news, websites, films, etc.) where the information presented is reliable. For help evaluating sources to see if they are credible, take a look at the Library’s CRAAP test.

Still not sure… see your friendly librarian for help evaluating and selecting sources today!

Call: (916) 691-7265

Email: library@crc.losrios.edu

Appointment: https://www.crc.losrios.edu/services/library/researchappointments

 

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A Smart Start with Research Starters!

September 11, 2017

Starting a research project? Make your life easier by beginning your search at Onesearch (library search box on our home page). Onesearch provides Research Starters or Topic Overviews to help you get to know your research topic including important factors like Who is involved, What happened or what is the issue, Where did it take place, When did the event occur, and Why is the topic important.

Here’s an example: If you are researching the Trump Administration’s stance on campus sexual assault and rules related to victims and those accused (see this Tweet for more information), you might want to start your research by getting to know the issue of sexual assault from all sides.

Try a simple search in Onesearch such as “sexual assault” or “sexual assault on college campuses” to find a Research Starter like this one:

Screen capture of research starter on Sexual Assault from library website

This Research Starter comes from an encyclopedia and in just a few paragraphs it points out some of the controversial issues surrounding sexual assault including education regarding sexual assault, gender role perceptions, alcohol on college campuses, and disclosure of sexual assault. A research starter like this one can quickly help you identify ways to narrow a research topic or additional terms or ideas. Each of the topics that are in bold above came from the research starter, and each would be useful as you search further on issue of sexual assault laws and the rights and protections for both victims and those accused.

Start your research today with a Research Starter from Onesearch!


Note for students: Sexual assault isn’t just a research topic; it’s a real and serious issue. If you need to speak to someone, CRC has professionals who care and who want to help  you. Speak with a counselor, the college nurse, or visit a Safe Space for help and support.

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Tool of the week: Onesearch!

September 5, 2017

Two weeks of the semester down… and no doubt you’ve got your first paper looming. Make your life easier by using Onesearch from the CRC Library to find news, books, academic journals, films, and background information for your paper. Sort and limit your search to find the best information, and cite sources with just a click! Check out this video to learn more!

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Sharks and Fake News

August 29, 2017

Are there sharks swimming down the streets of Houston? No!

Fake news strikes again. Over the last year, no doubt you’ve heard the topic of fake news brought up by the media, politicians, and even your professors. So is fake news actually a problem or is it a bunch of hype?

The answer is yes…fake news is a real thing and something you need to look out for in your information environment. How can you avoid the fake news trap?Be on the lookout for clickbait headlines, misleading photos, and false information especially showing up in social media feeds. Read articles before you share them, and take a look at this guide created by Los Rios librarians…

Evaluating (mis)information 

For examples of fake news in action (and the real damage it can cause), take a look at this article from the New York Times describing false rumors connected with Hurricane Harvey.

Qui, Linda. “A Shark in the Street and Other Hurricane Harvey Rumors You Shouldn’t              Believe.”New York Times, 28 Aug. 2017,  https://nyti.ms/2wdh4dp. Accessed 29 Aug.              2017.

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That Magical Card!

August 29, 2017

If you’re headed to the Library to check out a book or make copies, don’t forget that magical card…your Student Access Card. Check out this video to find out all the things you can do with it!

To get your card today, stop by the College Center (main campus) or the Elk Grove Center (first floor).