COLWRIT 008: English As a Second Language

Contact your librarian

  • Cody Hennesy
  • Photo of Cody

  • Office Hours: By appointment
  • Office Location: 212 Doe
  • Contact Info:


About this Guide

A guide to library resources for English as a Second Language.

This guide has been archived

This course guide was created during a previous semester, and is no longer being actively maintained. Here is a list of current course guides.

Doe Reading Room


North Reading Room, Doe Library, UC Berkeley Berkeley, CA January 2012

A few questions to start

Fill out this quick survey to begin.

UCB Libraries

The library website is your gateway to research at UC Berkeley.

UC Berkeley Library campus map

Library vocabulary

call number (let's try it)
A unique code on the spine of a book that tells you where the book is located on the shelves (like an address). 

A catalog contains records, with detailed descriptions and location information, of the materials in the library. UC Berkeley Library’s catalog is called OskiCat.

Circulation Desk
The area where you can check out, return, or renew library materials.

citation (image)
A brief description of a source (book, article, movie...) with specific publication details (such as title, journal, date, publisher, author, etc.)

Course Reserves
An area in the library where you can check-out items that your teacher has made available for your specific class. There may also be eReserves available for your class in bSpace.

Refers to a database or other electronic resource which provides the entire text of the works it contains (e.g., journal articles).


Journals usually contain scholarly articles written by professors, researchers, or experts in a subject area, and are published periodically (weekly, monthly).

An item checked out that the borrower has kept past its due date. A library will usually charge a fine for overdue items.

Published on a regular schedule (e.g., weekly or monthly), popular periodicals are called magazines and scholarly periodicals are called journals. Newspapers are also periodicals.

Reference Desk (image)
The place in the library where reference librarians and assistants give you directions, answer your questions, and show you how to find and use library materials.

stacks (image)
Areas of a library where books and periodicals are shelved.

Adapted from the University of Maryland's Library Lingo.

Library catalog history

photo of card catalog

Photo of card catalog from OSU Archives on Flickr.

photo of card catalog index card

Photo of card catalog index card by dfulmer on Flickr.

Using call numbers to find books

Books and journals are arranged on our shelves according to the Library of Congress (LC) classification system. Each is assigned a unique call number based on its subject matter and other characteristics. Items on the same subject will often be grouped together.

Each call number consists of several elements. In using a call number to locate a book on the shelf, consider each element in turn before moving on to the next segment.

These call numbers are arranged as they should appear on the shelves. In each case, the element shown in boldface distinguishes the number from the preceding one:


Searching Library Catalogs

oskicat logo

Use OskiCat to locate materials on the shelves of the UC Berkeley libraries and also to:


melvyl logo


Use Melvyl to locate materials at other campuses in the UC system, or worldwide, and also to


Oskicat Tips

Finding information in Databases

The Library gives you access to over 200 article databases covering different disciplines.

  1. Think about which academic disciplines might write about your topic.  Examples:  literature, film, anthropology, history...
  2. Find the appropriate article database by subject (academic discipline or department).  Look for "Recommended" databases.

    Library home > Articles > Article Databases by Subject

  3. You may need databases that cover diffferent types of materials - historical or ethnic newspapers, congressional information, primary sources, etc:

    Library home > Electronic Resources > Electronic Resources, Types A-Z >

Article databases

Here are some general article databases that cover many different topics and subjects.

Where's the PDF?

Once you've used an article database to find articles on your topic, you may need to use this button:uc-eLinks button in order to locate and read the full text of the article. 

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 video tutorial (about 2 min.)

Proxy server

To use library databases from off campus you have to set up the proxy server: this changes your browser settings.

How to Avoid Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty, violating the Berkeley Campus Code of Student Conduct. The campus issues a guide to understanding plagiarism, which states:

"Plagiarism means using another's work without giving credit. You must put others' words in quotation marks and cite your source(s). Citation must also be given when using others' ideas, even when those ideas are paraphrased into your own words."

Plagiarism is a serious violation of academic and student conduct rules and is punishable with a failing grade and possibly more severe action.

In order to avoid plagiarism, you must give credit when

Citation workflow diagram

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

Cite your sources

Chat and email reference

Go to the research help page to have librarians answer your questions online:

A few questions to finish

Fill out this quick survey to finish up the class. thanks!

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