Welcome. [See introduction of outline: hand outs and clarification of any class papers are due in the near future, and the topics the class is studying would be helpful in the demonstration- class discussion can facilitate most of the demonstration/search example]
This would be a good time to tell the students how important this skill is: they will need to perform this for the rest of their time at the university and beyond. Lifetime learners need to know how to retrieve and use information effectively.
To frame your topic, developing research questions is crucial. You should be able to extract multiple concepts out of a research question. Just think to yourself, “What am I wanting to know?” Here is an example we will work through as a class.
You will need to pluck out the main concepts and write them down. Here are three concepts I pulled out of our question. Most of your research questions will have two concepts, but you may get three. Sometimes it helps to write them in a table, like you see here. As you can see, I just brainstormed and put any term I think may be associated with my concepts. I used an asterisk in here- do not worry that will be explained very soon. Sometimes a thesaurus can help with this step. Also, just performing searches and reviewing those results will also give you some idea. If you do not know enough about your subject, you may want to do a quick Google search or consult an encyclopedia to pluck some main concepts about it.
Project Muse is a humanities database. It is a very useful tool and will be for you as a student in a humanities class. You can get to Project Muse from the libraries web site [go to]Here is what the home page of Project Muse looks like.
The general subjects include:LiteratureHistoryPolitics and policy studiesEconomicsEducationFilmReligionWomen's studiesAnd really muchmuch more. It has over 400 titles. You can browse journals at this tab [show]
Explain each for students
The basic search is located at the top right hand of the screen. Here is your simple “Google like “ box. You can enter terms and hit enter. Or if you need a more targeted search, the Advance Search is appropriate. [show students right under the box, where advance search is located]
The advance search is quite helpful. As you can see, the Boolean operator is already included for you! [see drop down, with AND, NOT, OR. So lets conduct a few searches and see what we get… [A SmartBoard would be more useful than PowerPoint at this point, but just describe a few searches for the students so they get an idea of using multiple keywords together with Boolean]
With the search “west and expansion and violence” we retrieved almost 4,000 results! You can sort results [show drop down at the top]. Here we can see the title, author, and other information available to us.Subject headings are also very useful- you can click on these and get even more results.
Abstracts are very helpful so we can read more and see if the article may be relevant to us, and if we want to retrieve it. This article looks useful for our topic. You will not see an abstract on every record- some records do not have this information available. Also, point out other parts of this article: html available, subject headings, and article information [parts of a citation].
So, we click on HTML for this article [since that is the only format available] and the article will come up. Here we can review the article further to see if it is useful. Things we should look at include who the author is, what their association is so we may notice bias or point of view, this can also tell us about an intended audience too. Faculty from universities are usually writing scholarly- for others in the field. Also, check the year for currency. [The library should have a handout for students- regarding evaluating information -including web sites!]
Check and see if there is a list of works cited or references- this is a good sign of credible work, we can see the author performed research and we can use these sources if we so incline. This will also tell you a little bit about point of view too!
Note here is academic associations or reference, and there are notes to give us more information about the author’s research. I think this article is very useful for an academic project.
So, if we use this article we need to make sure we have all parts of a citation. Here we can gather most, if not all of the information needed. Show students title, authors, journal name, volume, number, year, and pages.
To save the results of your search [multiple articles].Click the box to the left of the title. Once you have all of them “marked” you can chose to export or save the records.
There is also an option to email the bibliographic information to you. This option is located in the top right.
Printer friendly option is at the bottom and at the top of the screen. Here is what it looks like. As you can see- this labels a lot of the information you need to cite the work.
Yale has a good site that answers the question, why cite? [read each point] [& possible discussion with class] 2009 Yale University. email@example.com.
Remember there are many tools that are available to help you cite.RefWorks and Bibme.org are both excellent resources to use. Most databases, when you print, will allow you to put the article in citation format. Project Muse does offer guides. In the left hand [middle] box, you can choose “How to Cite Articles in Muse” handout
And here is what it looks like. You need to follow the format exactly when citing information in a research project. Follow even the grammatical marks! Make sure you also are choosing the right style your professor requires [ALA,MLA, Chicago, etc…]
Now, please practice in Project Muse yourself- if you want you can talk with your neighbors to assist in the process. [The library usually has a basic worksheet for students to complete as they are searching- such as a table/grid for key concepts and like terms with Boolean.]The instructor/librarian should engage the class and help individually those who need it. All images used: Clip Art in Microsoft PowerPointThe following was used for guidance in planning the instruction session: Bell, S. (2006). Teaching Other People About Databases. Chapter 12 in Online Searching. Westport: Libraries Unlimited.
Learning project muse, Spr 09 gaxiola, ca
Learning Project Muse
The purpose of this library session is to guide you
in conducting an effective search to locate articles
relevant and useful for your class project and how
to cite the information you use.
Lets Get Started….
Frame Your Topic
Develop a research question
Did the Fur Trade and westward expansion
cause any violence? What kind of effects did
this have or cause?
Synonyms, Broader Terms, Like
Constructing a Search
Searching for Information: How to use your
Boolean Operators: You may use the following connectors
when using multiple keywords: And, Or, Not. Example:
Truncation: Use an asterisk * at the end of a search term if
you are not sure of spelling or to retrieve any words beginning
with the same root. Example: West* will retrieve Westward and
Use quotation marks if you are seeking a
specific phrase. Example: “manifest destiny” This ensures that
the results will include these two keywords together as a phrase.
Parentheses are used to provide direction
of the chronological searching order [in which to combine words
first]. Boolean operators may be used in these parentheses.
Example: west* expansion AND (violence OR conflict) AND
Printer friendly- also points out parts
To Become a More Mature
To Recreate a Sense of Lively
Debate and to Establish
To Give Credit Where It’s Due
To Lead Us to Further Research
Now you try it!
Please raise your hand for assistance…
Discuss topics & alternate
terms with your neighbors!
You can also pair up and search for
information in teams too!
Finding & Using Information
Effectively takes Practice!
It’s a great skill!