THEATER 25: The Drama of American Cultures

Contact Your Librarian

  • Heather Thams
  • heather thams photo

  • Office Hours: Mon/Tues/Thurs 10am-5pm (by appointment)
  • Office Location: 212 Doe Library
  • Contact Info:

About this Guide

A library research guide for students in TDPS 25AC, Summer 2011.

Starting Points

1.  Read an introduction to the campus libraries for undergraduates.Campanile and Golden Gate Bridge

2.  Set up your computer for off campus access to library databases.

3.  Need a map of the campus libraries? Doe and Moffitt floor plans are here.

4.  Each library has its own hours and they may change on holidays and between semesters - click on the calendar for each library to view a month at a time.

5.  Information about citing your sources and links to guides for frequently used citation styles here.

Off-campus Access to Library Resources

Before you can access UCB Library resources from off campus or via your laptop or other mobile devices, make sure you have configured your machine using one of two simple methods (Proxy Server is the quickest and easiest):

Proxy Server
After you make a one-time change in your web browser settings, the proxy server will ask you to log in with a CalNet ID when you click on the link to a licensed resource. See the setup instructions, FAQ, and Troubleshooting pages to configure your browser.  Make sure you check the proxy configuration before you start researching.

VPN (Virtual Private Network)
After you install and run the VPN "client" software on your computer, you can log in with a CalNet ID to establish a secure connection with the campus network.

Beyond the Web

"It's all free on the Internet, right? Why should I go through the library's website to find sources for my paper?"

Library logo

The Web is a great source for free, publicly available information. However, the Library pays for thousands of electronic books, journals, and other information resources that are available only to the campus community. Through the Library website, you can access hundreds of different licensed databases containing journal articles, electronic books, maps, images, government and legal information, current and historical newspapers, digitized primary sources, and more. 

You access these resources through the Internet, using a browser like Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer -- but these databases are not part of the free, public Web. Resources like Lexis-Nexis, Web of Science, Academic Search Complete, and ARTstor are "invisible" to Google. You will not see results from most library databases in the results of a Google search.

Want to find out more? Get started exploring the Library's electronic resources, or find out how to get access to licensed resources from off-campus.

Doe, Main Stacks, Moffitt Library Floorplans

Looking for a location or call number in Doe, Main Stacks or Moffitt?  Try the floorplans, or ask for assistance!

Finding Play Reviews

Reviews and criticism are not synonymous. Reviews generally appear in newspapers and magazines, are written shortly after a play is first performed, and are usually written by journalists; they analyze the play from an entertainment or artistic perspective. You may be able to find reviews for your play in the following sources:

Finding Play Criticism

Criticism of a play may be written months or years after a play's first production. In general, criticism is more scholarly than a play review; critical analysis attempts to place the play into a larger historical, social, or theoretical framework. Critical articles are usually longer than reviews, and contain extensive bibliographies. Criticism is usually published in scholarly journals or books, and is written by scholars who are experts in performance studies, literary and cultural studies, or other specialized fields.

Where's the PDF?

Many article databases contain information about articles (citations or abstracts), not the entire text of the article.  Once you've used an article database to find articles on your topic, you may need to use uc-elinks button in order to locate and read the full text of the article. The UC-eLinks button appears in nearly all the databases available from the UCB Library website.

UC-eLinks will link you to the online full text of an article if UCB has paid for online access; otherwise, UC-eLinks will help you locate a print copy on the shelf in the library. If UCB doesn't own the article in print or online format, UC-eLinks can also help you order a copy from another library.

For more information, watch this video tutorial (about 4 min.)

You can also set up UC-eLinks to work with Google Scholar.  For more information, watch this brief demo (about 40 seconds.)

Finding Biographical Information

The following databases are good places to look for biographical information about a given playwright:

Finding Biographical and Background Info in OskiCat

OskiCat lets you know what books are available in the UC Berkeley Libraries. OskiCat does NOT index picture of magnifying glassarticles, but it's a good way to find out what books we have and which magazines and journals the Library subscribes to. To see if any books have been written about the playwright you're researching, try using their name as a subject (last name first).

From the Quick Search screen, choose the "Subject begins with..." option from the pulldown menu, then enter your playwright's name (e.g., chin, frank). This will let you find books ABOUT Frank Chin. To find books both by and about Frank Chin, enter his name in the Keyword (default) search box. Either frank chin or chin, frank wil work in Keyword search.

To find books that discuss and critique a given playwright's works, use the Keyword search. Enter the playwright's name plus the words criticism and interpretation, like this: amiri baraka criticism and interpretation.

To find books about a specific play, just type the play's title into the Keyword search box. You may need to include the author's name if the title is a very common word, e.g. fences august wilson.

Citation Management Tools

Citation management tools help you manage your research, collect and cite sources, organize and store your PDFs, and create bibliographies in a variety of citation styles.  Each one has its strengths and weaknesses, but all are easier than doing it by hand!

  1. Zotero: Free software that keeps copies of what you find on the web, permits tagging, notation, full text searching of your library of resources, works with Word, and has a free web backup service. Zotero is available as a stand-alone application that syncs with Chrome and Safari, or as a bookmarklet for mobile browsers.
  2. RefWorks - web-based and free for UC Berkeley users. It allows you to create your own database by importing references and using them for footnotes and bibliographies, then works with Word to help you format references and a bibliography for your paper. Use the RefWorks New User Form to sign up.
  3. EndNote: Desktop software for managing your references and formatting bibliographies. You can purchase EndNote from the Cal Student Store

Tip: After creating a bibliography with a citation management tool, it's always good to double check the formatting; sometimes the software doesn't get it quite right.

How to Avoid Plagiarism

In order to avoid plagiarism, you must give credit when

Recommendations

 

This content is part of the Understanding Plagiarism tutorial created by the Indiana University School of Education.

Research Advisory Service

Research Advisory Service for Cal Undergraduates

Book a 30-minute appointment with a librarian who will help refine and focus research inquiries, identify useful online and print sources, and develop search strategies for humanities and social sciences topics.

Schedule, view, edit or cancel your appointment online (CalNetID required)

This service is for Cal undergraduates only. Graduate students and faculty should contact the library liaison to their department or program for specialized reference consultations.

Ask a Librarian 24/7 Chat


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You can type your question directly into this chat window to chat with a librarian. Your question may be answered by a reference librarian from Berkeley, from another UC campus, or another academic library elsewhere in the US.  We share information about our libraries to make sure you get good answers.

If the librarian can't answer you well enough, your question will be referred to a Berkeley librarian for follow-up.

Have fun chatting!

Get Help in the Library

"There are no dumb questions!" student at reference desk

 

 

That's the philosophy of reference librarians, who are here to save you time and trouble. If you get stuck, you can talk to a reference librarian at any campus library

Searching Library Catalogs

Use OskiCat to locate materials related to your topic, including books, government publications, and audio and video recordings, in the libraries of UC Berkeley. OskiCat will show you the location and availability of the items that we own. 

Use Next Generation Melvyl to locate materials related to your topic located at other campuses in the UC system. Next Generation Melvyl also allows you to expand your search to libraries worldwide. Clicking on the REQUEST button in the detailed view of a catalog record prompt you to fill out a form to request the item through our Interlibrary Loan office.

Is it a scholarly source?

Your instructor may want you to use scholarly (or "peer-reviewed") sources. What does this meajournal coversn?

There are two main types of scholarly sources:

  1. Articles published in scholarly journals (print or electronic), which are usually peer-reviewed.   
  2. Books (print or electronic) intended for an expert or specialized audience.

Scholarly sources are:

Popular sources, on the other hand, are intended for the general public. These sources are more introductory, may not be written by experts in a field, and often do not cite any other sources. Examples of popular magazines include National Geographic, The Economist, Time, Newsweek, and People.

How can you tell if an article or book is scholarly? Look for:

Read more

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