TO GET TO THE COCC LIBRARY WEBPAGE:
WHAT IS YOUR TOPIC?
Explore library resources before you get too settled on your topic–let your search results help determine the direction of your topic. If we don’t have a lot of information on your first topic “angle”, then let what you DO find inform a new direction for your research!
CHOOSE THE RIGHT KIND OF RESOURCE FOR WHERE YOU ARE IN YOUR RESEARCH!
Don’t know a thing about your topic? Go to online encyclopedias first to get that essential background information.
Do you already have a lot of information on your topic, but need to update your knowledge, or substantiate it with current research? Go to article databases!
Keywords can be an essential part of your research process. Think, what are the essential concepts in my topic? What combination of single words (or in some cases, phrases) represent that essential concept?
Unlike Google, most library resources do not do natural language searching–you need to distill your topic down to the key, most essential words. Example: for my topic, I’d like to argue that students on the autism spectrum can succeed in college. Keywords for this topic would be: autism / college / student.
ONLINE ENCYCLOPEDIAS–USE IF YOU LACK BACKGROUND KNOWLEDGE!
Online encyclopedias can provide wonderful background information for your topic, making your book and articles more successful. Start at the COCC Library webpage.
Look for the Students box and click on the link Resources.
Then look for the Resources by Type link. Scroll down a bit, and you’ll see the Encyclopedias and Dictionaries image. Click on it to get to our online encyclopedia collections.
Here’s some direct links to some of our more comprehensive resources:
Explore some other options for locating background information at COCC’s collection of online encyclopedias at
USE ARTICLE DATABASES FOR…UH… ARTICLES–USE IF YOU WANT CURRENT, SPECIFIC INFO!
Article databases let you search on your topic to locate academic, scholarly articles OR, in the case of this class, general magazine and newspaper articles. Barber Library purchases these databases for you to search–this is different from searching on Google or other “free web” search engines!
Get to COCC’s Barber Library list of databases at http://guides.cocc.edu/az.php.
Take a look at the Resources by Subject link as well–it will list the best article databases and online encyclopedias for specific subject areas.
GENERAL DATABASES PARTICULARLY GOOD FOR YOUR WR 121 ARGUMENT ESSAY:
NON PRINT RESOURCES
Statista (statistics and infographics)
TO SEARCH A JOURNAL ARTICLE DATABASE:
Journal Article Database Search Hints
Why not just use Google to find your information? BECAUSE the library search tools we offer get you to the information you need fast and effectively. Library search tools such as library catalogs, databases and online encyclopedias give you FREE, FAST and FACTUAL information so that you can complete your writing research assignments!
HELP IS ALWAYS AVAILABLE!
Need help finding some information? Are you new to databases and want to find an article? Do you need help printing a document? The LIBRARY INFORMATION DESK on the main floor of the library is the place to go when you have a question!
Here’s Barber Library’s open hours: https://www.cocc.edu/library/hours/
You can also talk with librarians 24/7 via our chat service located on the
Barber Library web page:
Or e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or call us at: (541)383-7567.