» Related Links
|Distance Learning Services
Distance learning presents new challenges and issues for students, faculty and the library. Davis Memorial Library has a designated Librarian for Distance Education who is here to help bridge the gap between the Library and it's many off campus users. Feel free to contact the reference desk with any questions, comments, concerns, etc. during normal business hours.
This page was created to give distance education students and their instructors a general overview of how to conduct research and obtain electronic and non-electronic materials in the library via the web. To start, take a look at Library Terminology, a guide which defines words often-used words such as Boolean operators, databases, and truncation.
The Online Library Catalog contains records for the various types of materials available at Davis Memorial Library: books, videos and DVDs, music CDs, cassettes, computer CD-ROMs, maps and posters, and music scores. The catalog can also be used to determine which journals and magazines the library owns. Basics of the Online Catalog gives tips on how to use the catalog.
See a book in the Davis Memorial Library collection that you need? It can be sent to you. This is called Document Delivery , and the service is free of charge to Methodist University students. Additionally, if you need an article or book the library doesn't own, it can be borrowed from another library. Because these items have to be sent from another library, it can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to get the materials, so don't wait until the night before a paper is due to start your research or request materials via Document Delivery. Carefully read the section on Document Delivery to find out how to do this and the time it takes to obtain books/articles.
Journal and Newspaper Articles
If you are off-campus and need to access resources, go to Remote Access to obtain instructions on how to do this.
To find articles use the databases found on the Electronic Resources Page . Some databases have full-text articles, meaning that the whole article is available on the computer. Others give you the information to find the print copy of the article. This information is called a citation. You can determine if we have the journal or magazine the article is in by using the library's Journal Finder program. If you've found a citation for an article in a journal owned by the library, you can request a copy of the article via the Interlibrary Loan/Document Delivery department.
There are a few databases that are frequently used. Academic Search Premier (user guide) is a general database that covers a wide variety of subject areas. It has many full text articles and images, but not everything is full text. It contains articles from scholarly journals, popular and trade magazines, and newspapers. The newspaper citations are often not full text. For full text newspaper articles, use Newspaper Source Plus. Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe also contains full-text news articles, as well as business and legal information. To see all the available databases, visit the Databases by Title page.
There are things you can do to effectively conduct your research. Since many of your sources will be articles from periodicals, the Locating Periodicals and Periodical Articles research guide will help you as you begin.
Subject Specific Research
There are a number of subject specific guides available. To see a complete list of the subject guides, go to Research Guides. Electronic titles are also accessible via subject at Journals by Subject. Below are links to guides prepared specifically for Distance Education students in Master's level programs:
Once you've accessed the resources that will be most useful, you want to effectively search them. The electronic databases are computer programs, and you can't search for information in the same way you would ask a human a question. For instance, you wouldn't do a search on "what influence Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel had on Nazi Germany's eugenics policies." Instead, you would pick a couple of key words, connect them with the word and, then perform your search. For the above topic, for example, an effective search would be something like: Michelangelo and "Sistine Chapel" and Nazi and eugenics . For more information on search techniques refer to the guide on Boolean Searching.
Resources For Writing Papers
Once you've finished your research, you're ready to write your paper. If you don't know where to start take a look at A Guide to Writing a Research Paper . This guide will give you an overview of the process of writing a paper. While writing, you want to make sure to use your sources to support your ideas, but you don't want to repeat exactly what your sources say. The library guide Avoiding Plagiarism can provide you with tips to incorporate your sources ideas, while using your own words. When you are finished writing your paper, you will need to cite the sources you used. There are many citation styles, so check with your professor to see which one to use. MLA and APA are the most common styles used by undergraduates. The MLA Style for Citing Print Sources, MLA Style for Citing Internet Sources, or the APA Style Guide will cover most of the more common types of sources you would use when researching a paper. If you need assistance writing your paper, contact the Methodist University Writing Center
We are here to help! Davis Memorial Library's reference librarians can assist you with simple or complex queries. When e-mailing a query, make sure to include your full name, the class title, and the name of the instructor. This information will assist the librarian in obtaining the correct information for you. Additionally, you may sign up for Individualized Research Assistance.