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BASIC LIBRARY RESEARCH FOR MTSU COM 2200

While MTSU students and faculty can typically identify and print the full text of many journal
articles from home by following the directions below, they will have to come to the Library to
find and check-out books. As such, because your assignment encourages the use of books and
because the printing of full-text electronic format periodical articles is free of charge, these
directions assume that you have chosen to do your research in the James E. Walker Library.

HOW TO BEGIN:

1. Select any computer on any of the four floors of the James E. Walker Library and sign-in
using your MTSU Pipeline user name and password.

2. Go to the Library homepage at: http://library.mtsu.edu/

TO FIND BOOKS ON YOUR TOPIC:

1. On the Library Homepage, click on GO TO ADVANCED CATALOG SEARCH (just


below the InfoSearch box).

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12 pt

2. Perform a keyword search by simply leaving the drop-down on the left set for ANY
FIELD and type-in your search topic in the first search box. (For example, you can type-
in gun control, or abortion, or gay rights, etc.) Then, press SUBMIT.

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12 pt

3. You should now see a list of records describing the books and other materials we have
available at MTSU on your topic. For example, for books the first line will provide the
title of the book, followed – on the second line – by the author, and – then on the third –
by the place of publication, the publisher and the year of publication. Then, just below
this information identifying the book, you’ll see information to help you locate it – the
LOCATION, CALL NUMBER and STATUS.

4. If you need to refine your search for books and you know the author of a book on your
subject you can go back and do an AUTHOR search by typing in the author’s last name,
then a comma and the first name. For example, SCOTT, ROBERT LEE. Or, if you know
the title of a book on your topic, you can go back and do a TITLE search for the title: for
example, ENCYCLOPEDIA OF GUN CONTROL AND GUN RIGHTS.
5. Once you go to the shelf and locate the book, be sure to look at books to the left and right
for other books that may be helpful, as books on the same topic are typically shelved
together. Then, to check them out, just present the books and your ID card to the staff
member on duty at the Library’s Circulation Desk on the first floor near the exit to check
them out.

TO FIND ARTICLES IN MAGAZINES AND JOURNALS ON YOUR TOPIC:

1. On the Library Homepage, highlight RESEARCH GATEWAY (in the top left corner of
the homepage) then click on FIND ARTICLES

2. Under STARTING POINTS, click on ACADEMIC SEARCH PREMIER.

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12 pt

3. Type your search term(s) in the search box, (For example, you can type-in gun control, or
abortion, or gay rights, etc.). You can leave the right drop-down on SELECT A FIELD,
or you can use it to reflect SUBJECT if you think the word or phrase might be used as a
subject. Then press SEARCH.

4. If there are a LOT of articles on your topic, you may want to check the FULL TEXT box
to identify articles where the full text is available in electronic form.You can also check
the SCHOLARLY (PEER REVIEWED) JOURNALS box to get the best-quality peer-
reviewed articles.

5. The next screen will display information about articles on your topic: the title of the
article, the name of the magazine or journal, the date of publication, volume, issue
number, pages, and so forth.

6. If your clicked the FULL TEXT box, your should see a clickable link to the PDF file with
the full text of the article, or to an HTML FULL TEXT link to click on to get to the full
text.

7. Remember, printing is free of charge in the Walker Library; simply, look at the name of
your computer that is taped to the top of the monitor, and – after you send the print job to
the printer – look for your computers’ name on the printer monitor, press the name and
retrieve your printout.
SOME SPECIFIC REFERENCE SOURCES THAT MAY BE HELPFUL:

Dictionaries:

Webster’s Third New World Dictionary (Print) (1ST Floor) R 423 W39 1993
The Oxford English Dictionary (Print) (1ST Floor) R 423 M96d 1989

General Encyclopedias

The New Britannca Encyclopedia (Print) (1ST Floor) R 032 Enlr 2005
World Book Encyclopedia (Print) (1st Floor) R 031 W89 2005

Statistics:

Statistical Abstract of the United States (Shelved behind the Reference Desk)
Tennessee Statistical Abstract (Shelved behind the Reference Desk)
The World Almanac and Book of Facts (Shelved behind the Reference Desk)
Time Almanac (Shelved behind the Reference Desk)

Public Opinion:

The Gallup Poll: Public Opinion (Print) (1st Floor) R 301.154 G13g
Editorials on File (Print) (1st Floor) R 070.4 Ed4

Biographical:

For electronic databases of Biographical information: Go to the Walker Library Homepage,


highlight with your cursor RESEARCH GATEWAY (in the top left corner); click on
RESOURCES BY SUBJECT, then scroll down to the SPECIAL TOPICS AND RESOURCES
section, then click on BIOGRAPICAL SOURCES.

Current Issues:

For electronic databases reporting on current issues: Go to the Walker Library Homepage,
highlight with your cursor RESEARCH GATEWAY (in the top left corner); click on
RESOURCES BY SUBJECT, then scroll down to the SPECIAL TOPICS AND RESOURCES
section, then click on CURRENT ISSUES.

Newspaper Articles:

For electronic databases with articles from newspapers: Go to the Walker Library Homepage,
highlight with your cursor RESEARCH GATEWAY (in the top left corner); click on
RESOURCES BY SUBJECT, then scroll down to the SPECIAL TOPICS section, then click on
NEWSPAPERS.