Surprising truth about Wikipedia

Wikipedia is not verified, fact checked, or guaranteed to be true. Really. From Wikipedia: “It is in the nature of an ever-changing work like Wikipedia that, while some articles are of the highest quality of scholarship, others are admittedly complete rubbish. We are fully aware of this.” Researcher beware! With Wikipedia, anyone can change any page. Are these changes fact or opinion? Are authors the expert on their topics? Maybe…maybe NOT. Wikipedia is GREAT for casual research, and excels at pop culture information. (The Doctor Who page is comprehensive and packed with verifiable…continue reading →

Black History Month: The Quilts of Gee’s Bend

Art or craft? History or bedspread? The Quilts of Gee's Bend were never intended to be art; quilts are utilitarian items, based on patterns passed from mother to daughter. Courthouse Steps, Log Cabin and strip-piecing styles appear over and over, always with a twist. Instead of exactly replicating the pattern, Gee's Bend quilters take the traditional form and riff on it, change it, spin in with their signature style. This improvisational work is what makes the Quilts of Gee's Bend so special, so inspiring, so uniquely American. The Quilts of Gee's Bend, named…continue reading →

e-Textbooks: would YOU do it?

Kindle. Nook. iPad. Android Tablet...clearly the book is going digital. Can textbooks go digital too? Advantages: Lower cost Many books in one small, light package Allow bookmarking and highlighting One familiar tool to read them all Virginia State has recently provided their accounting students with free e-textbooks, citing the prohibitive cost of traditional textbooks. Wired Campus reports that other schools have given iPads to incoming students, but have had issues integrating the devices into classroom instruction. St. John’s College has discouraged the use of free e-book versions of the classics, stating differences in…continue reading →

New Research Tool: JSTOR

JSTOR (Journal Storage) is an electronic archive of academic journals. JTCC subscribes to four of JSTOR's collections, which gives students and faculty to approximately 550 journals. The collections are particularly strong in the humanities, notably history, language, literature, political science, art, and philosophy. JSTOR journals work on a moving wall system; there is a time lag of (usually) 3 to 5 years from the most current issue of a publication and the full text available in JSTOR. Crucial facts: All full text, so no frustration with finding the perfect citation with no access…continue reading →

Do your best: online study guides

Struggling with Pride and Prejudice? Have a class discussion on Hamlet and no idea what to say? Do a bit of extra reading and get the clues you need--free and online. A bit of reading and research can increase your understanding--and your grade! Check out the following websites for extra help: SparkNotes: No Fear Shakespeare! "Created by Harvard students for students everywhere" these free online guides can help you deepen your understanding of a text, decide what to write on a paper, help you speak intelligently in class, and impress your friends." Subjects:…continue reading →

Free citations!

Do we have your attention now? Preparing the bibliography of a paper can be a detailed and time-consuming process. BUT technology can make the process a bit less painful. The EBSCO databases have citations tools built into the system--use them! Below is a screen shot from a journal article from the database. The yellow page (circled in the picture) is the link to the citation tools. Clicking the citation button will bring you to the citation page, where you can choose from MLA, APA, and other citation styles.  These can then be copied…continue reading →

Education, Education, keep fightin’ for it

“Did you see all the old folks in the Center, some older than me and I'm 57. The younger people come at night, they work in the day time.  Education, Education, keep fightin for it.” -From an interview with a woman in an adult education class at Abyssinia Baptist Church, West 130th Street, New York City, May 2, 1939. Poignant, powerful voices from the Great Depression can be heard on the American Life Histories website.  Over 2000 people were interviewed as a part of the Federal Writers’ Project, and the details of how…continue reading →

Scholarly journals….what’s THAT!

Scholarly Journals are magazines that publish new findings, research and commentary from people in the academic field of study. Unlike popular magazines (like People or Sports Illustrated) scholarly journals have few photographs, have longer articles with in-depth analysis, and often treat a narrow element of a larger subject. Articles like this are excellent sources for papers and projects. Examples include The New England Journal of Medicine or the Journal of American History. These journals and their articles are indexed and cataloged and made available to students electronically through subscription databases. What does that…continue reading →

Heard any good books lately?

Bored with the same economic doom and gloom on the radio? Sick of the same tunes during your workout? Now you can laugh through your commute with David Sedaris or brush up on your French pronunciation while you hit the jogging trails. Check out an audio book! John Tyler now has audio books available on the library website through Overdrive. Books are a free download to all John Tyler Community College students, faculty and staff; just use your myTyler login. Books range from chick lit (Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella) to serious poetry…continue reading →