Monthly Archives: February 2015

Help, I have a research paper due!

I have a research paper due, what do I do? Where do I start?
All your professor has told you is that the paper should be about your major or something that interests you. Could he be any more vague? Ideas. You need ideas!
I suggest you go to the Gale database and use their Topic Finder. To get to the database, go to Central Penn Library web page and click on online resources on the right side of the screen. Select the Gale database. If you are not on campus, you will need to authenticate being able to use it by using your Blackboard user ID and password. Once you are in the Gale site, click on all databases which will lead you to the next screen. Go to Topic Finder on the heading. Start by inserting a search term. A colorful wheel will appear on the left side with keywords associated with your search term. When you click on the wheel section, articles from the Gale databases will appear on the right hand side. You can change the wheel to a tile search. I suggest you try both and see which you prefer. As you try out the two formats, you get chance to play with words; trying to find a topic that is not too broad and not too narrow.
Still feeling lost ?
Go back to the Central Penn Library page and again click on online resources. This time click on Credo.
Select “Find Topic” from the options on the heading. When I checked today, there were only 10612 topics about which they provided more information! When you click on one of the topics, it provided a summary article, related topics, images, credo entries, databases and suggested resources. The suggested resources included a link to our library’s online catalog and showed the items we had on the topic.
OK, so the resources provided by the library don’t go as far as to write the paper for you but they make it a lot easier to gather ideas and information.


We, here at the library, feel as if every student must have heard us telling them SO many times about the databases to which we subscribe. When prospective students first set foot in the library, we say we may look small but we have the resources to help you. We go on to tell the prospective students about how we increase the number of books available for their use by subscribing to Ebrary. For every book that is physically here in the library, we have 5 more through Ebrary. We also emphasize how we have the EBSCO and Gale databases providing access to journal, newspaper, and magazine articles.
When you come to the library as freshmen, we again harp on EBSCO, Gale and Ebrary. We add to the list by telling you about Opposing Viewpoints and Films on Demand. Hopefully you have watched a video through Films on Demand and used the viewpoint essays in Opposing Viewpoints in writing a paper. Another great database you should know about is CREDO Reference. When you are starting your research in writing a paper, you should start with CREDO. Its dictionaries and encyclopedias can explain unfamiliar terms and provide keywords to use when conducting your research. There are thousands of charts and images which can be included in your research and the topic pages highlight other resources provided by the library.

But wait, there’s more!!!
We have subscribed to various additional databases that support some of the curriculums offered here at Central Penn College.
For Business majors, we have Business Insights: Global. It provides business & industry data, case studies, and news from hundreds of countries around the world. Another source we have is a link to Leadership Quarterly Journal. The Journal covers the broad range of leadership topics and research worldwide.
If you are an OTA major, we have OT Search for searching for articles within your field.
If you are a medical assisting major, we have Medcom Trainex . You can access online courses including videos in the medical field. You will need a separate password to access this resource. Please contact the library for login information.
If you are in our paralegal or legal studies programs, we have Westlaw and WestlawNext for you.
If you are in our organizational leadership program, you should know about Emerald. It is a jewel of an online resource. On the site, you will find journals from the publisher Emerald focusing on the subjects of Human Resources, development, management, and organization studies.
If you are a professor or just want to keep up with what is happening in the field of higher education, we have the Chronicle of Higher Education database.
If you are studying for your Master’s or Doctorate, you should know about our Proquest Dissertations and Theses full Text. This database offers the world’s most comprehensive collection of dissertation and theses from around the world from 1743 to today. Most of the dissertations added since 1997 are available in full text. This is the official digital dissertations archive for the Library of Congress and the database of record for graduate research.

OK, now that I have told you about the databases, how do you access them?
Go to the Central Penn College web site and click on Library. []. On the right side of the page, you will see Online Resources. Click on that and you will be taken to the list of our databases. If you are on campus, you will be able to access the databases by just clicking on them. If you attempt to access these resources from off-site locations, you will be asked for a user ID and password. This is part of the authentication process, and it is used to verify that you are an authorized user. Your Blackboard user ID and password will be required to authenticate.
On the library page, just below the Online Resources link is a link to Subject Guides. When you are on the Subject Guide page, again look on the right hand side and find “online resources guides”. There are detailed instructions how to use our online resources and how to cite what you find in APA style
The subject guides will unlock a “treasure chest” of information useful for using our online resources.
Please use the databases that have been selected with you in mind! If you need any help, please ask the librarians who are available by phone, text, chat and even in person.