WR 121 Research Log

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Assignment #1E, Part 1: Finding Information in the Library Catalog

  1. Go to the OSU Library Tutorial and complete the section Getting more information about your topic from books.

    Go to the OSU Libraries Catalog and do a keyword search on your topic.

  2. Print out the first page of results and attach it to your research log.

  3. Choose a relevant source from the result list, one that you think will be useful in your paper. You can do this part without leaving the computer, using just the information in the catalog record. Notice where your keywords appear in the record, are they in the title or related subject headings? Write down the full citation information for this source in your research log, so that you will be able to correctly cite it if you decide to use it in your paper.

  4. Explain why you chose this particular source by analyzing the information in the catalog record. What other information can you identify (besides your keywords) that suggests this might be a good source to examine? In your research log, write down two specific pieces of information about the source, and explain why they appeal to you.

  5. For hints about what to look for in the catalog record, check this page: Using results lists to identify useful sources.

  6. Write down the following pieces of information from the catalog record, and use them to find the item in the stacks.

    • Is the item available? (Hint, check the status field)
    • What is the call number for the item?
    • On what floor is the item shelved?

    Note: The library catalog includes records for tools, like indexes and bibliographies, that will point you towards information sources, but which are not information sources themselves. You should not use one of these items for your assignment.

    Note: If you have trouble answering any of these questions, refer to the Finding materials in the Valley Library tip sheet.

  7. (Answer in your research log) Do you think you will use this source in your final paper? Why or why not? Be specific about the factors that make you think that this is a quality source, or that you should avoid using it.

  8. (Answer in your research log) Look at the shelves around where you found your source. There should be similar items shelved nearby. Are any of these sources potentially useful? Look through your source. Is there a bibliography, citations, footnotes or references that point you to additional sources? Do you think any of these will be useful to you?

If you have any trouble finding an item, or answering any of the questions in this assignment, ask a librarian. You can:

At this point, add the following to your research log:

  1. The first page of results from the library catalog.
  2. The full citation information for the source you selected.
  3. 2 or more reasons why you selected this source, with examples from the record.
  4. The process you used to find the source
  5. Your answers to the questions about your source.

Continue to Assignment #1E, Part 2: Article Databases

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