POLI SCI 999: UCDC American Presidency

Find eBooks

Since you are away from your library, electronic books become even more convenient for your research.  All campuses purchase ebooks, and there are various ways you can find them, but these differ by campus. 

A basic approach is to use your library's catalog.  Limit your search results to online resources-- this usually requires an advanced search.  Here's an example, using the Santa Barbara catalog [quick video]

You can also use Melvyl and limit the results to your own campus. 

 

Google Books

Google Books contains millions of scanned books, from libraries and publishers worldwide. You can search the entire text of the books, view previews or "snippets" from books that are still in copyright, and read the full text of out-of-copyright (pre-1923) books.  Want to read the entire text of an in-copyright book?  Use Google Books' Find in a Library link to locate the book in a UC Berkeley library, or search OskiCat to see if UC Berkeley owns the book.

Why use Google Books?

Library catalogs (like OskiCat) don't search inside books; using a library catalog, you can search only information about the book (title, author, Library of Congress subject headings, etc.).  Google Books will let you search inside books, which can be very useful for hard-to-find information.  Try it now:

Google Book Search

B.E.A.M.

What sort of articles and data do you need to find for your paper?  Scholarly, for sure, but there are many others:

  • news
  • laws and statutes
  • statistics
  • interviews
  • 'primary sources'

It's helpful when doing your research to think about how you will use what you find.  The acronym BEAM helps you make sure you find materials that will do the job you need in your paper. Research papers need materials in all four categories.  

B = Background information.    Do you know the seminal works, major scholars and theories in your topical area?  What about the actual definitions of the disciplinary jargon you're using?  Scholarly encyclopedias are the best source of background information: look in Oskicat under your discipline, with the word encyclopedias, [sociology encyclopedias]. Could also use Wikipedia, a textbook, a newspaper, or any source that fills you in on your big topic. 

E = Evidence   Often called primary sources, evidence is the stuff you are studying in your research.  Evidence could be news coverage, laws, court cases, personal interviews, statistics or data... whatever helps you prove your thesis.

A = Analysis  Here are the secondary sources-- analysis is usually written by faculty scholars or technical experts, who are themselves analyzing evidence that they may include or cite.  As a student writing a paper, you are doing analysis, so it's important to refer to the work of others studying the same topic

M = Methodology  This means the methods and questions you will use to analyze your evidence.  Each discipline has its own favorite ways of asking questions and its own ideas about what sort of information can serve as evidence.  You must know which methods are suitable to the disciplines you are working within.  To find methodology, search for books by using the name of the discipline and the word methodology.  E.g. Sociology method*.

[Bizup, Joseph.  "BEAM: A Rhetorical Vocabulary for Teaching Research-Based Writing." Rhetoric Review Vol. 27, Iss. 1, 2008]

Find books in DC

How can you get books in Washington DC?  Not from your campus library, sorry to say.

But you do have access to academic and professional libraries in DC:

  • Collections at your internship can be helpful
  • You can read [not borrow] books from academic libraries in the DC area, including Howard University, American University, Georgetown University and George Washington University. 

Proxy and VPN set up

To use library databases from DC you have to set up your campus proxy server or VPN. Once you do so, you'll be able to get articles from the databases in pdf form after logging with your campus ID.

Click your campus name below for set-up instructions:

Last Update: August 23, 2013 14:06