The Library at St. Cloud State University

ENGL 1302: Analytical Writing

Table of Contents
Research is a Conversation
The Information Cycle
Understanding Popular vs. Scholarly
Journal covers image

Scholarly vs. Popular Materials Guide (NCSU)
Guide to distinguishing between scholarly journals, popular magazines, and trade journals/magazines.

1. Comparison activity:

Bennett, Laura. "Woe Is Twee." New Republic, vol. 243, no.16, 2012, pp. 24-27. Academic Search Premier.

Bergman, Shawn M., et al. "Millennials, Narcissism, And Social Networking: What Narcissists Do On Social Networking Sites And Why." Personality & Individual Differences, vol. 50, no. 5, 2011, pp. 706-711. Academic Search Premier.

2. Practice:

In pairs, work through the Popular vs. Scholarly Articles - Tutorial from the University of Arizona Libraries.
Citing Sources in MLA Format
Academic writing involves finding, evaluating, and using information resources.  When you use research, quotes, ideas, or data you have found in books, articles, web pages, etc. you need to cite the source of your information using a specific set of rules. For ENGL 1301, your professor requires you to use MLA Citation Style.

MLA Formatting and Style Guide (OWL at Purdue)
MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities, including English. This resource offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.
Subject Specialist
Picture: Melissa Prescott

Melissa Prescott
Professor, Research Librarian
MC 204E
(320) 308-4751

Find background and overview information on your topic to provide context for your research.

Points of View Reference Center
This full-text reference resource presents multiple sides on current controversial topics. Each topic may include topical essays, supporting articles, primary source documents, images, and videos.

Credo Reference
Provides online access to over 500 reference books (encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, etc.) in all subject areas. This is the premier place to look up a quick fact or to search for background information on a research topic.

SAGE Reference Online
Provides access to 90 full-text specialized encyclopedias that offer excellent background information on a topic.
Books and eBooks
Search the library catalog for physical books or browse eBooks from a variety of publishers.

Books and More

Tips for Finding Books

  • Academic libraries contain materials that support the curriculum, or what is taught and studied at the college or university.
  • Most academic libraries use the Library of Congress (LC) Call Number System to organize their physical items.
  • When you search for books, videos, or other materials in the library catalog (MnPALS), you find information about each item. This information is displayed in what's called a "record." For instance, a record for a book looks like this:

To find the book, you must look for it in the library using its Call Number and its location. In our example, we can see that the item is Available and is in the Main Collection - Basement. The call number, LC67.62 .M58 2010, translates to...
  • Subclass LC -- “Special aspects of education” -- Shelved in alphabetical order
  • 67.62 -- “Social aspects of education. Economic aspects of education.” -- Shelved numerically as a whole number, sometimes with a decimal
  • .M58 -- (a.k.a. the Cutter line) author’s last name, “Mullen” -- Shelved alphabetically by the letter, then numerically as a decimal
  • 2010 -- the year the book was published -- Shelved in chronological order
Government Documents
Explore reports, statistics, and other information published by an official office or agency of the United States government.

Government Publications
Search for videos in the library's general collection (includes all Films on Demand) and explore other streaming media collections.

Movies and Streaming Media
Search multiple databases covering all subject areas in LibSearch. Limit your results to the Resource Type you want to find.

Articles and Databases
A list of all the databases available from the library. Start general (with LibSearch or Academic Search Premier) and then find another database that is more directly related to your topic.

Academic Search Premier (all topics)
Academic Search Premier (ASP) contains indexing for nearly 8,050 publications, with full text for more than 4,600 of those titles. ASP provides full-text coverage in biology, chemistry, education, engineering, humanities, physics, psychology, religion and theology, sociology, etc. Tip: Click the check box to limit to Academic (Peer Reviewed) Journals.

Ethnic NewsWatch
Articles from over 200 newspapers, magazines and journals of the ethnic, minority and native press. Provides in-depth coverage of a wide range of current and historical topics. Limit the Source Type to "Scholarly Journals" for peer-reviewed articles.

Articles on topics like sexuality, religion, societal roles, feminism, masculinity, eating disorders, day care, and the workplace that support LGBT studies, family studies, gender studies, and women's studies with a unique interdisciplinary approach. Click the check box to limit results to "Peer-reviewed" for scholarly articles.

Your first stop for finding scholarly high-quality research. Search the library's physical collection (books, movies, music, government publications, etc.) along with most of the online journals and e-books to which the Library subscribes -- all in a single search. Tip: For scholarly articles, click the check box to limit your results to peer-reviewed journals.

  • For Scholarly Journals, Limit to Peer-Reviewed Journals

  • For Newspapers, select Resource Types -- News

  • For Magazines, select Resource Types -- Magazines (or Trade Publications)

  • For Interviews, add the term "interview" to one of the search boxes, along with your topic terms

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