Chapters 3-5

elephantThis is when your lib 160 quizzes get a little tougher.  Quizzes 3 and 4 are usually especially difficult for many students.  Please 

  • think carefully about your answers and 
  • check the readings and the blog if you don’t understand a question.  Also remember that 
  • each attempt is essentially a new quiz–the answer to question 3 (or any other question) on your 3rd attempt is not the same answer (or question) as on your 2nd attempt.  
  • Review your previous attempt(s) before starting a new one.  
  • Start early, so if you are having problems I can help.  And–I can’t stress this enough–
  • do not take a 5th attempt without contacting me first.  Remember, I want everyone to pass this course.  

Chapter 2 Tutorials

Evaluating Internet Sites 101
From the University of Albany, State University of New York

Google Scholar Basics
A short video introduction to Google Library from Riverpoint Library.

Internet Detective
Developed by several scholars at British universities. Award winning.

Web and L.I.Brary
A take-off on the PC vs. Mac commercial. The YouTube description says merely that it was originally created for a community college

Chapter 2 Take-aways


Chapter 2 discusses the differences between Google and Google Scholar.  Both have their uses.  I use Google every day to purchase things or to find out about an upcoming dog show or to find lists of the best refrigerators to buy.  I also frequently use Google Scholar when I want to find scholarly research articles on a topic that I’m having difficulty finding elsewhere.  So, the question below is based on the Chapter 2 readings: 

1. Which of these would more commonly be in: Google Scholar or Google?

  1. Articles on the effects of pets on human longevity
  2. Pages to order pet gear
  3. A critical examination of the effects of the web on print newspapers
  4. A copy of The Onion
  5. A diagram of the periodic table of elements
  6. Background information on the Vietnam War
  7. An analysis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder among Vietnam War vets

Answers are on the bottom of this page.

Chapter 2 lists criteria for evaluating information available on a website:

  • Accuracy–Is the information on the site accurate, factual?  
  • Authority–Is the author or sponsor of the website qualified to write expertly on this topic?
  • Content–A lot like accuracy. How does the content compare with other information you know about a topic? Is coverage complete? Does it leave out important information?
  • Currency–Look for a creation or “last updated” date. Non-working links could indicate the site has not be updated in a while. In some cases currency is not as important as other criteria (e.g., popular songs recorded in the 1960s), but in most cases it can be crucial (e.g., news of the day, new developments in cancer treatment).
  • Point of view–Does the site give more than one point of view on an issue, or does it only show one side of an issue?
  • Purpose–similar to point of view, ask yourself why the website exists. To inform? To convince or promote a particular viewpoint? To sell you something?

2. For each of the following websites, give the purpose of the site:



Chapter 2 indicates that Wikipedia has areas of strengths and areas of weaknesses. Most people would say you shouldn’t cite Wikipedia in a research paper.  But it is sometimes a great sources of information.  It often shows up early in Google search results because it is often used to introduce someone to a new issue or topic.

From the list of topics below, choose whether Wikipedia would be strong or weak for information on that topic.

  1. The architect for Vancouver’s tallest completed building.
  2. Information about the hip-hop band Public Enemy.
  3. Biographical information about Joseph McCarthy
  4. The world of professional wrestling
  5. Bauhaus architecture
  6. Detailed, factual information on slavery reparations after the Civil War
  7. The most recent information on the 2013 sequester
  8. Information on artificial intelligence.

Chapter 2 mentions that ISU makes its databases available to students who are working off-campus.  What do you use in order to log in to the databases the library makes available when you are off campus?

  1. Your nine-digit university ID number and a library password you choose
  2. Your net ID and password (for using CyMail, for example)
  3. Your eleven-digit university ID number and a library password you choose
  4. Your net ID and your university ID number


Answers to question 1:

  1. If you’re looking for articles, you search Google Scholar
  2. You can purchase items using Google
  3. To find critical analyses, use Google Scholar
  4. You can find issues of The Onion searching Google
  5. You can find images and diagrams by searching Google
  6. For background information on a subject, search Google
  7. For analytical studies, use Google Scholar

Answers to question 2:

  1. This is a company site and they want to sell you their products.
  2. This is an informational site—it’s there to inform.
  3. This is from an organization dedicated to erasing smoking from the world. They are pushing a certain point of view.
  4. This is a page from the National Institutes of Health whose purpose is to inform.
  5. The Sierra Club is a famous organization dedicated to the preservation of the land. They are pushing a point of view.
  6. This is a total hoax site.
  7. This is a site to sell test preparation for all of the national exams, such as the SAT, ACT, GRE, LSAT.

An organization whose purpose is to advocate for a particular point-of-view, such as the Sierra Club or Americans For Non-smokers’ Rights, is not necessarily a bad source of information. You just need to know their mission and validate information that you find on their sites.

Answers to question 3:

  1. Strong
  2. Strong
  3. Weak
  4. Strong
  5. Weak
  6. Weak
  7. Strong
  8. Strong

Answer to question 4:

To log into your library account off-campus, you need to use the last eleven digits of your university ID number and a password that you have previously chosen for this purpose

Chapter 1 Tutorials

Following are links to tutorials from other libraries that address some of the ideas in Chapter 1.

  • Assignment Calculator
    From San Jose State University, this interactive page lets you enter the due date for an assignment and then gives you particular dates for the different stages of your research. A great time-management tool.

  • How do I?
    This tutorial from the University of Washington offers information on the basics of research with some online quizzes included.

  • The Information Cycle
    A description of how the information cycle relates to the production of different types of materials (the internet, newspapers, magazines, journals, and books) based on the Columbine school shootings in Littleton, CO. This event may be a little before your time, but consider the information in light of 9/11 or the killings at the Boston Marathon in April 2013.

  • The Information Cycle
    Another explanation of the information cycle from the University of Washington, focused on the Japanese tsunami of 2011.

  • One Perfect Source?
    Doing research isn’t about finding one article that covers your topic perfectly.

  • Picking Your Topic IS Research
    Understanding the iterative process of the research process. Very well done.

  • Tutorial For Information Power (TIP)
    From the University of Wyoming

Chapter 1 Take-aways

From De Montfort University Library, Leicester, UK (


When you are first starting to think about your topic for an assignment, there are issues about it that you need to consider BEFORE starting to do any research.

The first of these is WHEN the event you are writing about occurred. The time of the event will determine what kinds of information resources might be available to you. For instance, if you are doing a project on the election primaries, because they are happening now, you probably won’t find many journal articles on this topic, unless you are looking for general information on election primaries in general. Nor, probably, will you find books. It takes time to publish both books and scholarly journal articles, and the recent U.S. election primaries are too recent. You can probably find magazine, newspapers, and web sites that discuss this particular subject.


So when an event occurred is going to be very influential in determining what kinds of information you will find.

If you know nothing about a topic you are beginning to research, encyclopedias can be useful. In this particular case, probably Wikipedia is a good place to start.


Chapter 2 mentions 3 major consideration to help you get started in your research.   The chart below identifies those three:



Finding Tools

What are the three major finding tools for your research, according to Chapter 1:

  • Library discovery tools (in our library–QuickSearch)–books, videos, sometimes websites
  • Periodical indexes–journal article
  • Web search engines–journal articles, videos, websites

These are the tools you use to find the appropriate information sources, such as books, journal articles, videos, newspaper articles, and web sites that might be appropriate for your research project.

Types of Information Sources

Chapter 1 illustrates the types of information sources used for different types of information you need:

    • Library discovery tools

      • Background  information

      • Statistics

    • Periodical indexes

      • Statistics

      • News and general information

      • Scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles

    • Web search engines

      • Background information

      • Statistics

      • News & general information

      • Governmental sources

      • Other likely organizations, agencies


Choose your search terms carefully:

  • To get better, more relevant results
  • To help focus your search
  • To determine whether you’d be better off using a scholarly index with controlled  vocabulary
  • To use the correct controlled vocabulary for the different scholarly indexes


Instructor/Student Responsibilities

wordleFor any learning to take place in a course, instructors and students each have responsibilities.  These are the ones I feel are important for this course.  I promise to do my best to fulfill my responsibilities. How about you?


Faculty member

  • Let students know how grades will be determined
  • Hold and attend all scheduled office hours
  • Let students know about assignments and tests early in the semester
  • Communicate regularly by e-mail or other communication venues within BlackBoard
  • Practice fairness and consistency
  • Show respect and consideration
  • Meet with students at times other than office hours at an agreed-upon time and location satisfactory to the student and the instructor.
  • Encourage questions and offer help to students when needed.
  • Monitor student progress and notify students who are not fulfilling expectations.
  • Ensure the confidentiality of all students in the course



  • Know important dates
  • Participate in class quizzes and the final examination at the times indicated in the syllabus and on the BlackBoard calendar
  • Dedicate time necessary to complete course readings, quizzes, and other suggested materials
  • Ask for help when needed
  • Monitor BlackBoard for announcements and messages from instructor regularly
  • Accept responsibility for learning
  • Practice academic honesty in all work
  • Notify instructor of emergency situations which will have an effect on student’s performance of class requirements
  • Display respect and consideration


What’s This?

This blog belongs to you, my students, and to me.  In the General blog I will be listing information about the course, such as tips about the course, instructor and student expectations, and other things that might come up during the course.  Each chapter blog will include my summary of the important information in the chapter as well as other links and pointers that may help you with any difficulties you have with the course.  You, as students, can post any information that has helped you understand a particular concept that had you confused, as well as asking any questions that you have about the information or the quizzes.  Please help me help you by using this blog to help you and the rest of the class learn from you and from me.