Direct link to the library webpage: https://www.cnsu.edu/library/
The easiest way to reach the library webpage is to go to the main university website: https://www.cnsu.edu/ and find the “library” tabs in the top right-hand corner.
You can reach the databases by clicking the big, square “databases” button (shown left) our library webpage: https://www.cnsu.edu/library/
Then, you’ll see this login page. Use your CNU email and email password to login. Notice that you don’t have to include “@cnsu.edu” in your username. Once you log in here, you can use any of the databases. CNU subscribes to these databases, which provide research, study and career materials relevant to your coursework.
YES!! Here is how you can gain access to an article unavailable in our databases:
Checking out a book is easy! At your campus library, tell your librarian which book you’d like to check out, and they will take care of the rest of the process.
Finding a book: You can browse for books in our library catalog (available on our library webpage): https://opac.libraryworld.com/opac/home.php. Please note that our catalog has all library books within our university. Any books at the Rancho Cordova campus library are labeled “CHS." If your book is at another campus, you can still check it out, this may just take a couple of days to arrange.
Time frame: check-out time is three weeks. If you would like to check out a book for longer, simply send our library an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) expressing this, and we will renew the book for you (so you can borrow it for another 3 weeks). Repeat as needed!
Keep in mind that to graduate, you need to return all checked-out books to the library.
At both campuses, you’ll need to print from a library computer. You will also need to have money on your student account (although in the library we can’t manage student accounts): it’s 10 cents to print a one page, black & white document
If a document hasn’t shown up that should have, try selecting “refresh.”
Research appointments are half-hour meetings where you can with one of the CNU librarians and ask questions about your research. We can help students at any point in the research process: determining a topic, finding evidence, including evidence into a paper, and formatting and citations.
Our sign-up page: https://calendly.com/cnulibrary/tutoringappts?month=2022-10
Our goal is to help you become a more experienced and self-reliant researcher, and so we can also connect you with tools, exercises, and resources to use. Please note: we won’t edit a paper or do the research for you.
If you cannot meet at the times listed above, email us at email@example.com and we can arrange another time that works for you.
Primary source: A document or item that provides direct evidence. Examples: research articles, photographs, original artwork, interviews.
Secondary source: A document or item that discusses and analyzes evidence. Examples: textbooks, book and movie reviews, biographies.
Tertiary source: A document that compiles or sorts secondary sources. Examples: dictionaries and encyclopedias. Textbooks could be considered tertiary sources if they compile secondary sources together.
Here are some examples of articles you can find in our databases, or may write yourself:
Research study: An article written by a professional researcher that explains the methods used, data collected, analysis, and conclusions from a research experiment conducted.
Analytical article: An article written by a professional researcher in which the author discusses theory, concepts, or other literature.
Literature review: An article in which the author references the research conducted within a specific topic and analyzes it for changes over time, gaps, or different perspectives. Read more about literature reviews on Purdue Owl.
Annotated bibliography: This kind of paper is usually not published, although you may write this yourself. Take a bibliography (a list of sources used to write a paper) and create an “annotation” for each source. This annotation is a brief 1 or 2 paragraph explanation including: why you chose to include that source, what it’s about, and what it contributes to your paper. Read more about annotated bibliographies on Purdue Owl.
Systematic review: A systematic review is a collection and overview of all studies relevant to a specific topic. It is essentially a “study of studies.” Systematic reviews are commonly used in healthcare to stay up to date on different topics in the health field. A systematic review can take months to write. Read more about systematic reviews in this article: on Pubmed.
Thesis/Dissertation: Both theses and dissertations are original works of research conducted in graduate school. In a master’s program, students will write a thesis. In a doctorate program, students will write a dissertation. Theses and dissertations can take months or years to write.
Clinical trial: This is a medical research study involving people. Clinical trials test new ways to diagnose and treat different health issues or diseases. You can read about clinical trials in more detail on the NIH website. You can browse ongoing clinical trials in the US at clinicaltrials.gov.
Observational student: In an observational study, researchers record information in observation of a specific population group without interference. You can read more about observational studies in this article on Pubmed.
Review: Experts in their fields write reviews of articles and books. A review is not a summary of an article or book. Instead, a review evaluates the quality of the research and analysis in an article or book. For books, reviews often provide a recommendation to read or not to read a book. For articles, reviews can be part of the publication process (peer-reviewed articles have been reviewed by other experts). Read more about book reviews on Purdue Owl.
A "peer-reviewed" source goes through an extra step before publication. Not all articles are peer-reviewed. It depends on the journal in which they are published -- some journals have peer review as part of their publication process, and some journals do not.
The peer review step is where experts in a particular field read and evaluate before publication in order to determine the validity and accuracy of their research. Peer-review is particularly important for research studies since the accuracy of their results are dependent on the setup and execution of an experiment. While not all articles are peer-reviewed, all academic disciplines use peer review.
Articles found to contain errors or substandard research methods in peer-review are removed from publication. For this reason, peer-reviewed articles are considered more reliable in providing information on different topics. There is ongoing debate in the academic publishing industry about how often and in what ways peer review should be conducted (if you are interested). Often, you will have to write papers using peer-reviewed sources only.
You can check to see if an article is peer reviewed by Googling the journal it was published in, going to that journal’s website, and going to its “about” (or equivalent) section.
The right research topic can be tricky to find. It's especially difficult to drum up a topic before looking anything up. In the library, we encourage you to: start broad, look through existing research, and let the evidence lead you to an interesting topic.
When browsing through research, you can ask yourself:
Note: It's difficult to come up with a definitive thesis statement and then search for evidence to back it up. This can lead to biased writing. Instead, try to determine your thesis from the evidence you find. This can lead to an interesting paper without writing yourself into a corner!
It is frustrating when you can't find articles directly related to your topic. But there are many options here. First, you can always ask someone in the library for help (and they will try a few methods to help get you on the right path). Sometimes, having another person take a look at your topic can help you get unstuck.
Also, you can try a few search tricks:
This is a relatable question. There can be a lot of reading involved in researching a topic. While yes, you should read an article fully to understand it,
For example, studies have sections that you can read out-of-order: introduction, literature review, methods, results, discussion, and conclusion.
Question-driven reading is often much more engaging than tunnel-reading. When you find an article with content that you want to understand, try asking yourself:
"Data" refers to a collection of information about a group that leads researchers to make statistical statements and generalizations about that group.
For example, a group of researchers conducted a study and found that “95% of people sneeze less than four times per day (Hansen and Mygind, 2002).” To state this, these researchers had to first collect data. For two weeks, 80 people participating in this study (all of whom worked in their hospital) recorded how many times they sneezed each day. The data collected in those two weeks includes: each person’s relevant health information (age, gender, lack of nasal disorder) and number of sneezes per day.
Luckily, many organizations collect data for you and make it freely available online.
What kind of data are you looking for?
In library research appointments, we often get questions about finding data as evidence for someone's research topic. The hard thing here is that college-level research doesn't always work this way. No matter how great and compelling your thesis statement is, the existing data is not guaranteed to back it up.
Hansen, B., & Mygind, N. (2002). “How often do normal persons sneeze and blow the nose?”
Rhinology 40(01)), 10-12.
Different formatting styles suit different academic fields. If academic research is a conversation, then formatting styles are like the accents of different research fields. Each formatting style highlights different aspects of evidence used in academic research.
From this list, hopefully it's clearer that each field has its own citation style that uniquely suits its research methods. You may have to use multiple different citations styles in your college education. But if there is a takeaway here, it's that you don't have to memorize a specific citation style! There are many free tools in the library and online that can help you check your formatting and citations and ensure they are correct.
Instead, remember the four parts of your paper that need formatting:
Plagiarism is when you take an idea that isn't yours and incorporate it into your writing without giving credit to the person who came up with the idea, as if it were your own.
There are two main ways to include someone else's work or ideas into your writing WITHOUT plagiarizing:
BOTH options above require a citation in your paper.
When in doubt--cite the source! It is great to incorporate other ideas into your writing, the readers just want to know where those ideas are from
There are a few ways: research appointments, email correspondence, and walk-up hours.
PLEASE NOTE: We help with research methods. Check your college’s tutoring programs for expert help in a particular subject!
If you aren't able to meet with a librarian at their offered times, please know we still want to help you!! Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, explain that you can't make the existing appointments, and we can arrange a time to meet virtually or in-person.