Reference & Instruction Librarian
1300 145th St. E
Reference books and online resources like Britannica Online and Credo Reference are great for improving your background knowledge on almost any topic. These resources also provide images and videos, which you can use to liven up your papers and presentations.
Helpful Reference Books for Composition I
Research Strategies: Finding Your Way Through the Information Fog - Badke, William.
Call Number: Z710 .B23
Publication Date: 2011
Here are some reference ebooks from Credo Reference and EBSCOhost.
The American Heritage Guide to Contemporary Usage and Style Publication Date: 2005
American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th ed.
Pocket Style Guide: APA Edition
Call Number: MAIN PE1408 .H26 2016
MLA handbook for writers of research papers, 7th ed.
Call Number: Reference LB2369 .G53 2009
The Chicago manual of style, 16th ed.
Call Number: Reference Z253 .U69 2010
Introduction to EBSCOhost (4:05)
EBSCOhost Basic Search (1:53)
Using the EBSCOhost Result List (3:38)
Gale PowerSearch Tip Sheet (.pdf)
ProQuest - Basic Search (2:12)
ProQuest - Search Results (3:44)
Introduction to LexisNexis Academic (8:23)
LexisNexis Academic: Power Search Overview (5:05)
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All of our online resources and librarian-approved web sites are bookmarked in Delicious.
Contact All of Us
Use the e-mail address or phone number below to reach us as quickly as possible:
These are shared by all library staff, so whoever checks their e-mail or answers the phone first will help you.
Contact a Specific Librarian
Danielle Hoveland, Circulation Technician
Areas of responsibility: circulation, interlibrary loan (ILL), course reserves, weeding
Regular hours: 7:30 AM to 2:00 PM, Monday through Friday
Danielle.Hoveland@dctc.edu , 651-423-8654
Michael Kirby, Head Librarian
Areas of responsibility: budget, collection development, policies, subscriptions, systems, web site
Regular hours: 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday
Michael.Kirby@dctc.edu , 651-423-8406
Barbara Schuldt, Cataloging Technician
Areas of responsibility: cataloging, interlibrary loan (ILL), processing, weeding
Regular hours: 10:30 AM to 6:00 PM, Monday through Thursday
Barbara.Schuldt@dctc.edu , 651-423-8598
Barbara Tuttle, Reference & Instruction Librarian
Areas of responsibility: collection development, instruction, reference, research assistance
Regular hours: 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM, Monday through Friday
Barbara.Tuttle@dctc.edu , 651-423-8345
Welcome to the DCTC Library's Composition I research guide. This guide will help you to
- use reference books and online resources
- find books, videos, ebooks, and online videos
- find magazine, journal, and newspaper articles
- find trustworthy information on the web
- and cite your sources
For a basic introduction to the resources and services available from the DCTC Library, please see our DCTC Library 101 research guide.
Photo by Hakan Dahlstrom
MnPALS Plus: Our Catalog
Use our catalog, MnPALS Plus, to find books and videos in our collection, as well as ebooks and online videos.
The best way to begin a search in MnPALS Plus is to enter one or two keywords on your topic. To focus your search, use the Refine your search links that appear to the left of your results. You can also click on a relevant title and look for Similar Items on the right side of the screen.
If your assignment is to write an argument or persuasion paper, you'll be interested in two databases that specialize in social, political, and controversial issues. These databases cover similar topics but in different ways, with a different mix of articles, reports and weblinks. Each provides impartial, reputable coverage representing all points of view.
Points of View
Points of View Reference Center compiles articles and reports from magazines, newspapers, TV and radio broadcasts, and other sources under a wide range of subject headings, from Abortion to Zionism.
SIRS (Social Issues Research Series) provides a wealth of articles, reports and background on a huge range of subjects. It's also a good place to check if you're having trouble coming up with an article topic.
These are just a few of our Online Resources for finding articles. The best way to begin searching a database is to enter one or two keywords on your topic. Each database is different, but there will be ways to limit and focus your results so that you find the most relevant and useful articles available.
Please visit the Library or contact us if you have any questions about our databases or if you'd like help finding articles on your topic.
See PALSconnect Linker for a list of magazines and journals you can access online, with links to full text.
Our EBSCOhost databases are an excellent place to search for magazine and journal articles.
Our Gale databases are another great place to find magazine and journal articles.
Search over 1,300 full-text newspapers and news sources with ProQuest Newspapers.
Find full-text articles, legal information, and business content from more than 11,000 sources using LexisNexis Academic.
The Writing Center offers writing help to all DCTC students, including help with citing your sources. You can schedule an appointment by e-mail, phone (651-423-8420), or in person at the Learning Center (room 2-141).
How to Cite Your Sources
There are different styles for citing the sources you use in your assignments. Your instructor will let you know whether to use APA, Chicago, MLA, or some other style.
Here are some introductory guides to these styles from the Purdue Online Writing Lab:
- Purdue OWL: APA Formatting and Style Guide
- Purdue OWL: Chicago Manual of Style 16th Edition
- Purdue OWL: MLA Formatting and Style Guide
For more details and examples, check these style guides.
Our catalog and many databases can provide citations for the books, videos, and articles you find in them. Just look for a link that says Cite or Citation while the catalog or article record is on the screen, then select the appropriate style. It's easy to copy and paste citations into your bibliography! Be aware that these citations aren't always 100% accurate, so check them before turning in your assignment.
To cite sources from LexisNexis Academic, see this guide from the McGraw-Page Library at Randolph-Macon College.
Evaluating Web Sources
Here are some useful guides from other universities to help you evaluate information you find on the web.
Evaluating Information Found on the Internet (Johns Hopkins University)
Evaluating Print vs. Internet Sources (Purdue University)
Evaluating Web Pages: Techniques to Apply & Questions to Ask (UC Berkeley)
"Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, the use, by paraphrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment."
This definition of plagiarism comes from the DCTC Student Code of Conduct, which you'll find on page 31 of the 2012 Student Handbook. See how easy that was?
Citing your sources is an essential step in the research process. This allows others to verify your information and gives credit to previous researchers and writers for their hard work.