Conducting Research

I remember going to the library and searching through a card catalog. That is how old I am. There are still libraries, I imagine, that require the use of a card catalog. My library is very advanced.

Conducting research at my library is very satisfying. There are databases. I like to sit at the computer when I am supposed to find information and search the databases.

The databases have information on virtually every conceivable subject. They even have a nice name, Gale. Doesn’t it sound like like a good friend that you would take to coffee?

On Gale, you go to the subject that you are interested in. Let’s say that I want to research the peace movement. So I go to the search bar and type in “peace movement.” It spins for about 8 seconds and then returns a list of articles about the peace movement. I scan the headings or titles. I guess that you would call them titles, then check the boxes next to the ones that I would like to skim.

Most of these articles are full text articles which means that the entire article is available. There are some that you have to ask the librarian to get a copy from another library for you. If the full-text articles are available, you mark them and download.

Once you download the articles, you can either print them out or use your computer software to highlight them and save paper. Also, when you are going to download an article the database might give you the option of downloading a citation for your source. That is always helpful.

There are different types of citation methods in the United States. There are APA, MLA and Chicago. They are used in different disciplines. For college research papers, you might use MLA while for journalism, you might use Chicago. APA is for science. I have used MLA and Chicago. It’s kind of complicated when you first start with it and having the handbook helps. The Purdue OWL helps as it is an online resource.

Now, you can even do this while sitting on your couch listening to Simple Minds.

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