Using Purdue Library Resources for Writing Projects: Finding Topics & Sources

Using Purdue Library Resources for Writing Projects: Finding Topics & Sources


[MUSIC] Hi there, my name is Allegra Smith,
and I’m an instructor and PhD student in the Department
of English at Purdue. In this video I’m gonna
teach you about how to use the Perdue Library Subject Guides. Which were put together by our
research librarians in English and Writing to help you use the library
resources to their full potential. Today we’re gonna be looking at the
English 106 Library separate guide, but it’s not just for students in
Freshman Writing, it’s for everyone. The English 106 Subject Guide
is comprehensive and can help you with writing projects
anywhere from introductory composition to business and technical and
professional writing to your senior level research seminars in
your own fields of study and majors. It’s got lots of information on
how to create a search strategy, find sources, look at specialized
encyclopedias, and more. So without further ado, let’s get started. There are many different ways to access
the Purdue English 106 library Subject guide, you can go to
guides.livepurdue.edu/English106. There’s probably a link to
the library subject guide in your course Blackboard page if
you’re taking your writing course. For example, here in this business
writing course, it’s located down here. Click on it,
it’ll take you to the subject guide. Also, if you’re on the Purdue Library
homepage, you’ll see here under the Discover bar,
you can search for guides by subject. So there’s 12 different subjects, and you’ll find 106 under
Arts & Humanities or, You can go back and look for
guides by course, and scroll all the way down until we
find the English 106 Subject Guide. Now, once you’ve got the subject guide, you’ll see that there
are a variety of tabs. To give you an introduction
to the library and its resources, choosing a topic,
creating a search strategy, everything from evaluating sources
to looking at specialized resources. Today we’re gonna think about
starting out with a research project. So we’ll look specifically at finding
topic ideas and finding sources. If you go to the Choosing a Topic tab,
you’ll see a variety of links to help you find ideas for a paper or project. I have two favorite resources here, Opposing Viewpoints in Context and
CQ Researcher. We’ll start with Opposing Viewpoints
in Context because I think it gives us the widest variety
of information on the issue and also gives us a sense at a glance of
what the conversation is on an issue. Opposing Viewpoints in Context is
a database devoted primarily to editorials and opinion pieces, but it has a variety
of other media available as well. You’ll see here there are topics
organized by broad subject area, or I can just browse issues alphabetically. There are lots of different subjects here. Everything from very broad
areas like global warming and climate change to very
specific ones like drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for
oil. If I click on one of these,
let’s say fossil fuels, I’ll find first what they call
featured viewpoints which are selected opinion essays that the folks at Gail
Opposing Viewpoints in Context believe best represent the conversation or
debate on an issue. There are also results from scholarly
journal articles, like encyclopedias, additional viewpoints, images,
videos, podcasts, clips from radio shows on NPR, statistics and data sets and
[INAUDIBLE] that you can take a look at. There are many types of sources here which
can range from very broad to very narrow. This can help provide depth of
perspective for an issue for you. While Opposing Viewpoints in Context
is really helpful if you have no idea what you want to research, CQ Researcher
can help you to get more specialized in an area and can help you deepen your
understanding if you have a general sense of where you want to go but
none of the argument you want to make. CQ Researcher provides in depth reports
compiled by professional researchers for politicians. CQ actually stands for
Congressional Quarterly. So these are the briefings that
your legislators might read to get up to date on an issue. These are organized chronologically,
offer lots of charts and graphs and link out to legitimate sources
that you can cite in your work. So I may click Browse Topics here and
there like in opposing viewpoints,
sorted by general subject area. Let’s say that I’m interested
in science and technology, we have subtopics here,
maybe computers and the Internet. You’ll see that there are reports
dating all the way back to 1993. Some of the are shorter,
some of them are more in-depth. If I wanna learn about cybersecurity
this is what they call a short report. You see it spans 38 different references. If I find a more in-depth one,
like The Fight Over Net Neutrality, it’s extremely long, and contains timelines,
pictures, infographics, datasets, all sorts of stuff that I
can use to learn more about my topic. Here’s a point counterpoint
about regulation and access to information on the Internet. The great thing about CQ is that
it’s an authoritative source. It cites the different sources
that it uses to make claims, and you can follow those claims directly
back to where they came from. Also, it’s easy to cite it
at the click of a button. So now that you have a sense of
the topic that you want to pursue, it’s time to think about
how to find sources. So if we go to the Finding Articles
tab here on our library database, we can find one resource that helps us to
start whittling down our search strategy. And that’s Academic Search Premier, located under the meter
Databases tab here on the left. Academic Search Premier
is also sometimes known as EBSCO Host which is the name
of the company that hosts it. If you go to Advanced Search, Academic
Search Premier will provide you with a different searching
experience than is typical and search engine like Google, you have three
different search boxes instead of one. This helps you to get more specific
in the content you gather. Academic Search Premier primarily
gives articles from scholarly journals as well as some periodicals,
newspapers and magazines. So for example, I might be interested
in researching different generations so I’ll type in millennial. Academic Search Premier is giving
me over 8,000 search results here. Now, make sure you go deep into
the second or third page of results, since there are only
ten articles per page. But this can still be difficult
to navigate [LAUGH] with nearly 9,000 results. So I’m going to narrow my search here by
thinking about millennials and politics. Now this has narrowed my
search results to 345, a little bit easier to navigate. But I can go even more targeted if I add
another search term, say, social media. Now there are 19 search results, a lot easier to navigate and
a lot easier to get through. You can click on an article,
let’s see, Young Voters, Can White House hopefuls
win over Millennials? And if it’s not available, you can click
find it at Purdue Libraries to access it. You’ll wanna sign in for your options. Now that you understand how to use
Academic Search Premier it’s time to look at the library’s one search, which is available on the homepage
at lib.purdue.edu and will help you look through all of
the library’s collections of resources. Let’s say again that we’re looking for
millennials and politics. There are lots of results and so
we’re going to want to filter them, perhaps by the type of result
that we’re looking for. Let’s say that your professor has told
you that you need to include at least four peer reviewed articles. You can select articles to solely look for peer reviewed scholarly journal
articles for your research project. You can also filter by date, Or by author. If you wanna find records from the last
month or the last three months, you can click that. Say we wanna find things
from the last ten years. That’s narrowed our search
results considerably. As you get more specialized
in your research, you might wanna consider using
some of the library’s databases. The library data bases are available on the homepage if you hover over Find and
click Databases. There are 625 databases currently
available through the library as of the time that I make
this video in July 2019 and they’re adding databases all the time. You’ll likely wanna search by subject so if I’m looking for technology resources,
I’ll click engineering and technology. You can find databases specific
to what you’re looking for for your particular project. You can also search,
Using the search field at the top. There are lots of cool databases here
that you might not even be aware of. I just want to highlight
one in particular here, If I go back to the A-Z list of databases, We have for example Kanopy, Which you can navigate
to at purdue.kanopy.com. Kanopy is like Netflix for
documentaries and you have access to thousands of films for
free with your Purdue Tuition dollars. So checkout the databases sometime and see what’s relevant to
your research interests. As you’re searching for
articles or other sources for your research, you might also consider
using advanced search terms like Boolean operators such as and or or not. You might also consider other search
techniques like combining searches, using wild cards and looking for hashtags. Google has a particularly
helpful resource for refining web searches that I
will link with this video. One final resource that you can look at is
Google Scholar, which can help you find some articles or resources that aren’t
available in the library’s databases. You can go to scholar.google.com
to navigate to it. Let’s say again that I’m looking for
millennials and politics. One of the great features of
Google Scholar is its citation count. Citation is how you know
that a research paper or other scholarly source is generating
buzz and often that it’s reputable. If something has been cited
by 126 people it’s being talked about a lot and
it’s likely a valid and legitimate source. You can click the citations to see who’s citing it and
use this to gather additional sources. I hope this video has been helpful for you as you think about finding
your research topic and creating a search strategy for conducting
research and writing courses at Purdue. If you need any additional help,
The Purdue Writing Lab and the Purdue OWL both have resources available to you,
and you can schedule an appointment at the Writing Lab to meet with a tutor
to talk about your specific needs. Happy researching.