Reading scholarly articles is not the easiest thing to do at times. The figure above offers tips on how to read these works for clarity. I’ll discuss a few of those tips below.
Read the Abstract
One thing that can get in the way of reading scholarly works is the technical, specialized language such as, “convergence culture” or “epistemological framework” (Williams, 2008; Yawson, 2012). As a reader without much background knowledge on these terms, it is easy to get lost in the wording. Second, scholarly articles are also quite lengthy. We’re talking 15, 20, 30 plus pages at the minimum. Certainly, the thought of having to read such laborious literature to complete a 5 to 10 page paper would lead many of us toward the Most-Convenient-Article-With Fewer-Pages-Exit.
Tip: Reading the abstract is a quick way to find out the main purpose of the article. This can be a big time-saver!
Check the References List
Commonly, at the end of an article is a list. These lists are also known as, Notes, Works Cited, References, or Bibliographies. As an undergraduate, I regularly did away with these pages, thinking, “Well, this is one or two fewer pages I need to print.” Seriously, what did I really need with them? Overtime, I learned the references were useful in directing me to related sources.
Tip: References are also a great way to get ideas on structuring your written topic. Say you are considering writing a paper on Galileo. There are many stories you could explore from a biographical sketch of his life to Galileo’s Inquisition to Galileo’s role in the Scientific Revolution. Taking note of what others have written on the topic can help you decide to focus on something similar or chart a new course.
Use Section Headings
Finally, there are the journal names: International Journal of Technology and Design Education or Social Behavior and Composition or Journal of General Internal Medicine. These are not likely to be titles many of us encounter daily. Therefore, the lack of familiarity with the type of subjects covered in these journals can make it challenging to recognize if the article is worth the time commitment.
Tip: When you find an article scan through the section headings; these will be in bold font. The headings reveal the major subjects of emphasis addressed by the author. They also provide insight about topics covered in each journal. What you can do from here is begin narrowing selections to those journals that have more information on the topic.
Essentially, these tips can help you avoid overlooking scholarly articles that can enhance your writing in that research paper. Certainly, there is no substitute for reading the article in full. But, when reading scholarly articles that make you want to head toward the nearest exit–Wait!
Try some of the tips mentioned to help you identify Relevant sources in a timely manner!References: Yawson, R. M. (2012). An epistemological framework for nanoscience and nanotechnology literacy. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 1-14. Williams, B. (2008). “What south park character are you?”: Popular culture, literacy, and online performances of identity. Computers and Composition, 25(1), 24-39.
Banned Books Week draws attention to actual or attempted banning of books across the United States. This focus centers around the topic of censorship, which can adversely impact the ability of libraries to function as places that promote free and open access to information. Hence, this time is viewed as a Celebration of the Freedom to Read.
Intellectual freedom is valued by libraries in the aim of promoting access to information and the expression of ideas in various forms; even if the information might be considered unorthodox or unpopular. Banned Books Week stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of these items for all who wish to read and access them.
This year marks the 30th Anniversary in which libraries across the U.S. have celebrated Banned Books Week.
Why are books banned?
The three most common issues that spark debate on the banning of books involves those that are: “sexually explicit, contain offensive language, and unsuited for any age group,” according to the Office for Intellectual Freedom. Just to give you context for specific examples in the 20th century as described by Doyle (2010), consider the reasons why the following works were banned at one point:
- Invisible Man – Excerpts banned and removed due to images of violence and sexuality.
- As I Lay Dying – Banned for obscene passages about abortion and using God’s name in vain.
- The Lord of the Rings– Burned in Alamogordo, New Mexico in 2001 for being satanic.
- The Catcher in the Rye - Banned, challenged, and removed due to profane language, sexual references, and immorality.
As new generations of people discover these works and other contemporary works being published, there will likely be a continual need to address issues of access and censorship. Regardless of what side you support, having conversations about how to best address these issues with each other is key.
For more information about banned titles click here to view the list by author, decade, and year.
The Ekstrom Library will hold readings October 1st – 3rd from 11-1pm outside of the east entrance facing the quadrangle. Readers are needed to fill each 15 minute slot. Open slots are still available, so if you would like to participate contact Toccara Porter or call the Reference Desk at (502) 852-6747. Stop by, enjoy the readings, and share with us your thoughts and questions.
Doyle, R. P. (2010). Banned books: Challenging our freedom to read. Chicago: American Library Association.
Have you ever thought about why humans laugh? Is it to ease those all too tense, serious moments in life? What exactly would one uncover in the study of laughter? I have some theories, but here are a few jokes that will get you warmed up to thinking about why:
Did you hear about why the cross-eyed school teacher got fired? They said, “She could not control her pupils.” Ha, Ha!
How about this one: “Why did the guy from the orange juice factory get fired”? They said, “He could not concentrate.” Get it!
Try this one: “The teacher said to Jimmy. Jimmy this is the fifth day this week that you’ve been in detention. What do you have to say for yourself? Jimmy said, “I’m glad tomorrow is Saturday.”
And one more, “What did the ocean say to the boat?” Nothing, it just waved.”
Well, that last one might be a bit cheesy. The above three jokes I heard in passing a few weeks ago from a pastor at church who likes to crack jokes during sermons. The one about the ocean was from the inside of a laffy-taffy candy paper.
It has been said teachers who invoke humor represent one type of educator who can get students to better remember what they learn (Willingham, 2009, p. 50) For me, laughter hit on that same area the other day. I heard the Government Documents librarian laugh and I said to some students, “Now that’s what missing in the classroom.”
Within these examples one point that can be made is laughter carries a message in connection with many things beyond the comical.
This point is discussed in the work on the right titled, “Inside Jokes: Using Humor to Reverse-Engineer the Mind.” It has a comprehensive chapter listing of the connection of humor to such things as, learning, beliefs, emotions, relationships, mastering our minds, and more. Perhaps, this will help answer some questions about humor and laughter that I posed at the beginning of this entry. Laughing is such a unique reaction by the human body. One just might discover in the study of it, that laughter does in fact go a long way.
Willingham, D. T. (2009) Why Don’t Students Like School: A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom. San Franciso, CA: Jossey-Bass*The Willingham book is also available for checkout in the Ekstrom Library, 3rd floor. The Call Number is: LB1060.W5435 2009
[This post highlights the book pictured to the right: "Lies my teacher told me" by James W. Loewen. It is available in the Ekstrom Library at this call number: E175.85.L64, 3rd floor]
Have you ever been sitting in class listening to the teacher and thought to yourself, “This is total nonsense”? Perhaps you read through a textbook and wondered, “Am I really being told the whole story”? Then again, maybe that common historical event was discussed in such a way that the context was completely ignored.
Take for instance the actions of Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. Lincoln was a great man of intellect and leadership. Known for his connections with such documents as the “Emancipation Proclamation” and the “Gettysburg Address“. Throughout my middle and high school history classes the textbooks covering him could be summarized based on one action: Lincoln freed the slaves. End of story. But was it? At the time, for me, yes it was. My adolescent brain had not developed enough to ask the question, why? Why did Lincoln free the slaves? Was it so much about his believing whole-heartedly that suppressing the humanity of African Americans was inherently wrong and unjust? The list can go on.
However, it was not until a very focused study of the Civil War as an undergraduate student in several history classes where works like James M. McPherson’s, “Battle cry of freedom” and others were the required reads, that new insight was provided into the question of why Lincoln freed the slaves. The freedom was attached to Lincoln doing what was necessary to save the Union. The Confederate army relied upon slave labor for such things as, building forts and helping with medical situations. This labor was of particular importance to key in on by the Union army when the Confederate manpower began to wane near the end of the war and slave labor was necessary for sustenance. Freeing the slaves in the end was about utilizing the best strategic plan that would be successful to break the Confederate resolve in order to preserve the Union—The United States of America.
There is more that can be said here, but maybe this short highlight will inspire you to take up further study.
The Civil War is a fascinating history with many subplots; it is one of the reasons why being a history major was enjoyable. The above point was made not to take anything away from Abraham Lincoln. It is only to say how important seeing things in the entire context can be in providing you with increased understanding into answering the questions of why. We can also derive insight into the psyche and behaviors of people in decision-making positions during these historical events.
Therefore, whether or not these are actual lies teachers (or some books) have told, this book is an opportunity for you to be critical and move beyond the surface value of how these topics are presented in class.
To see a film in black and white is to go back to a time when the following were in vogue: talkies, Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, Jimmy Stewart, Clark Gable, Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe, Alfred Hitchcock, and many others were the talk of the town in their day. Nowadays black and white is utilized not just in motion pictures, but photography, music videos, and home movies as a creative form of expression.
Black and white movies (and let’s not forget tv shows like The Twilight Zone, The Fugitive, and The Rifleman) are some of my favorites. They represent a time when acting seemed more realistic—when a kiss on screen was just that and nothing more because the rest was left to the imagination. A time when the hair was slick, the screams were loud, and the plot had a way of making you think about the larger context of the message. It also signaled my fascination as a kid upon first watching in a lack of color to believe that the real world outside of the movie during those times were literally lived in black and white.
Ekstrom’s Media Resources on the 1st floor has a large array of classic film and television made in black and white available for checkout on DVD and VHS. Here are few of the notables:
April is National Poetry Month. Yes, the time when the roses are red, and the violets are blue. The time when names like, Maya Angelou, E.E. Cummings, and John Keats jump to the forefront of the literary consciousness. Even a time when, perhaps, like Robert Frost, you begin to ponder about The Road Not Taken.
In celebration of this month listed below are some titles from the Bingham Poetry Room located in the Ekstrom Library on the 1st floor. Formally named the Robert Worth Bingham Poetry Room, Mr. Bingham was notable for many things including, receiving a Law degree from UofL. More information about him can be found in the suggested reads section at the bottom. Housed in this collection is more than 6000 volumes of poetry with an emphasis placed on works published in North America and the United Kingdom. For all who enjoy poetry in all its forms the Bingham Poetry Room will not disappoint.
Here are a few to get you started:3. Dark Emperor & Other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman Location: Bingham Poetry Room, 1st floor, PS3569.I295 D37 2010
Other suggested reads:Robert Worth Bingham & the Southern mystique by William E. Ellis Location: Ekstrom Library, 3rd floor, CT 275 .B5737 E45 1997 Robert Worth Bingham Poetry Room, University of Louisville Library Location: Ekstrom Library, 3rd floor, LD3131 .L449 1966 Selected poems of Robert Frost Location: Ekstrom Libray Bingham Poetry Room, 1st floor, PS 3511 .R94 A17 1993
Have you ever had to find a journal and when you did, later discovered it was a magazine? Or, maybe the reverse happened. Well, even when you have one of them in hand determining whether a source is a magazine, a scholarly journal, or even a trade journal can be tricky. Keep in mind, each is written with specific readers in mind, from the general public to educators like your professors who use scholarly journals for their research. And, some fall into more than one category.
As you progress in your studies more class assignments may require you to use sources that are scholarly. However, that does not mean magazines have no value in the landscape of higher education; as they are useful for finding current news information. Below is a table that offers guidance on some of the differences between each.
- Magazines, journals and newspapers are all referred to as periodicals or serials.
- Periodical = Serial = a publication that comes out regularly (weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.) that uses a numbering system that is intended to continue indefinitely
While there are number of ways to access these sources in the UofL Libraries, you may want to start your search on Journal Finder. If you need more help call the Ekstrom Reference Desk at (502) 852-6747.
Many people enjoy lists. So, here is a random Top 10 list of movies in Ekstrom’s Media Resources that are in step with Spring Break themes related to some form of student life. Media Resources is located on the first floor, east side. Movies can be checked out with your UofL I.D. For media related questions call them at (502) 852-6302. Enjoy the break!
Summary: Faber College has one frat house so disreputable it will take anyone. The campus’s only other frat house is full of white, anglo-saxon, rich young men that no one can stand except Dean Wormer. The dean enlists the help of their fraternity to get the boys of Delta House off campus.
Summary: Explores the last day of school — and one rowdy night — in the lives of a group of high school students in late May, 1976
Summary: High school senior Scott forms an online friendship with German student Mieke to get a passing grade in his high school German class. When he finds out Mieke is a buxom blonde girl, he decides to travels to meet her with his pals. The group head to Berlin and it becomes the ultimate summer vacation party.
4.Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
Summary: A comedy that chronicles the trials and tribulations of several high school students.
5. House Party (1990)
Summary: Kid, a typical teenager, has to deal with punks, an over-protective father, and beautiful best friends who want him to choose between them.
6. Legally Blonde (2001)
Summary: When a blonde sorority queen is dumped by her boyfriend, she decides to follow him to law school to get him back and, once there, learns she has more legal savvy than she ever imagined.
7. Old School (2002)
Summary: Three middle-aged men disenchanted with their lives, try to relive their youth by moving into a house on a college campus and start hanging out with a group of misfit college students, losers, and retirees.
8. Revenge of the Nerds II (1987)
Summary: Revenge of the nerds: Two freshman join the nerds in their battle against jocks using high-tech weapons only a nerd could dream of.
9. Road Trip (2000)
Summary: Josh has a major problem — besides the fact he’s in college in Ithaca, NY, and his girlfriend Tiffany is in Austin, TX. A video of him getting funky with the luscious Beth was mistakenly mailed to Tiffany and now he has three days to get to Texas before the tape does!
Summary: College freshman John (Gib) Gibson visits his friend in California during winter break. Awaiting there is a bikini-clad babe whom his friend assures him is a “sure thing”. Meanwhile, Allison, a cute girl at Gib’s college has also decided to head out to California to see her boyfriend during break. Both are thrust together on an annoying road trip, but along the way, they find each other’s company to be tolerable. Now, what will become of Gib’s “sure thing?”
Growing up I used to be a big fan of Archie Comics; for a time even becoming an avid collector. I was not aware there was a cartoon based on Archie Comics—which interested me even more to find out such information later. What drew me to this comic was that it represented something different from the norm of comic books that emphasized the muscle-bound Superheroes. Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica and the rest of the gang looked like general cartoonish-everyday type of people. The style of dress and looks of the characters were very much in step with the time period when Archie was created–the 1940s. Even more appealing was the visual imagery of taking the text of a story and being able to see that story beyond words play out amidst a range of colorful backgrounds and real-life situations in high school that spoke to me.
In the same way these mark the attributes of graphic novels. There are many with story plots, characters (e.g. warriors/ninjas, multicultural, children), and beautiful color splashes that can speak to us all from that of Frank Miller’s 300 to Persepolis.
Maybe as you’re seeking to find some good reads over spring break consider one of the graphic novels below in the Ekstrom Library. They just might touch a cord with you:Title: American born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang Location: Ekstrom Library, 4th floor Call Number: PZ7.K678337 Am 2006 Summary: Alternates three interrelated stories about the problems of young Chinese Americans trying to participate in the popular culture. Title: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi Location: Ekstrom Library, 4th floor Call Number: PN6747.S245 P4713 2003 Summary: Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s wise, funny, and heartbreaking memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. Title: The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka Location: Ekstrom Library, 4th floor Call Number: PN6727.K825 M48 2003 Summary: Reworks Kafka’s tale of family and alienation featuring traveling salesman Gregor Samsa, who awakens in his family home one morning to find himself turned into a giant bug. Title: Lightning Thief: A Graphic Novel by Robert Venditti Location: Ekstrom Library, Browsing Collection, 1st floor Call Number: PZ7.7.V48 Li 2010 Summary: After learning he is the son of a mortal woman and Poseidon, god of the sea, twelve-year-old Percy is sent to a summer camp for demigods like himself, and joins his new friends on a quest to prevent a war between the gods. Title: The Alchemist: A Graphic Novel by Derek Ruiz Location: Ekstrom Library, Browsing Collection, 1st floor Call Number: PN6790.B73 C64 2010 Summary: Offers an adaptation in graphic novel format of a modern classic about the globe-trotting spiritual journey of a humble shepherd boy. Title: Rex Libris. I, librarian by James Turner Location: Ekstrom Library, 4th floor Call Number: PN6727 .T865 2007 Summary: Wearing his super thick bottle glasses, Rex Libris strikes fear into recalcitrant borrowers. Rex must confront the Space Warlord Vaglox while Vandals attempt to burn down Middleton Library to the ground. Title: Joker by Brian Azzarello Location: Ekstrom Library, Browsing Collection, 1st floor Call Number: PN6727.A99 J65 2008 Summary: Joker is getting out of the madhouse and, though he’s laughing, he’s not happy. But now Joker’s back on the street and eager to make Gotham bleed like it’s never bled before.
Part one referenced how you can take advantage of limiting searches to the full-text, reading the abstract, and using the Library Chat box to ask questions about the library. Part two lists some other ways to get the most out your search in EBSCO Academic Search Premier:
1. Perform a Title Search
The Title of a source is the first thing to which our eyes are drawn to determine if a source is relevant. When performing a title search you’re telling the database to find articles with a specific name in the title. This search works best when it’s narrowed down to a few words like, Harlem Renaissance, or with a phrase search like, “Mom’s Apple Pie”. You can even search a person’s name such as, ‘McDonnell Douglas’. Title searches are a useful way to discover what is available in the database with that name.
2. Email and Cite the Source
When you click on the title of any record (as shown above) there are several things to do including, emailing journal articles and getting information about citing the source in various styles like, APA and MLA. Doing this takes you into the record where on the right side is a list of icons including, Email and Cite as shown in the box below. The Email option is a convenient feature that helps you secure the citations of sources as you continue searching. While, the Cite option gives you clarity about how to format a source for your bibliography in one of the most commonly used citation styles.
FYI: When emailing articles, if the full-text (e.g., PDF or HTML) is attached to the article it will be sent to your email account. To see if the full-text is available, look next to the FindIt@UofL button within each record. If the full-text is not available only the citation of the article will be sent to your email.