Help! I Have an Assignment!

Your teacher has given you an assignment. Before you proceed, you need to know the following:

  1. When it is due.
  2. How many sources you need.
  3. What type(s) of sources your teacher will accept.
  4. What you are being asked to create, write, prove, etc.

Here is a breakdown of what we can offer based on how close you are to the answer for #1.

Due in Less than 12 Hours Most likely, you are reading this at 2:17am…the morning your assignment is due. You found this page in desperation. Get help now.
Due in 1 to 9 Business Days Alright, we have the kids menu of options with this timeframe. View your options.
Due in 10 to 15 Business Days You may have to digest the information you receive quickly, especially if you are at the 10-day end of the spectrum, but while you wait for your materials, you can complete your database research and exhaust all your options from MLN. Start researching.
Due in 16+ Business Days You are officially the Martha Stewart of assignment completion, and we love you for it. You have enough time to spin your ideas, put weak arguments out to dry and more! Begin exploring.


Less than 12 Hours

Most likely, you are reading this at 2:17am…the morning your assignment is due. You clicked this link in desperation. You are asking yourself why you didn’t start this last week. You are wishing it was 2:17pm the previous day. Then you could go to the actual library. But you are here. On the Help! page, with a churning in your stomach and a recurring waking nightmare of a red lettered F. You are hoping we can work magic. It won’t be David Blaine’s level of magic. It will be more like this level of magic. And now we got you to click on both links, leading you to the cute cat video in the sidebar, making it now 4:17am without you having done any research yet…why, interwebs, why?! Alright, we’re in this together now. Let’s pull this band-aid and make this a life experience never to be repeated.

Does your answer to #3 include ejournals, ebooks, and websites found on the very internet that just supplied you with 2 hours of feline distraction (btw, sorry about that)? Good, because it is our only deck of cards.

eJournals and eBooks

Welcome to the deep web, which is the part of the internet iceberg you cannot see without us. This is no Google. This is a prodigious (SAT word alert!) vault of peer-reviewed academic literature. All you need is your library card number.

Tips:

  • Given your limited amount of time, go to the “advanced search” option. Click the box for “limit to full text articles” or some variation thereof. Proceed with your search, and get results you can read right away.
  • When you click on an article you would like to use, look for the citation icon, which will create your citation for your Works Cited or Bibliography in APA, MLA, and Chicago Manual styles. Time saver? Check!

Databases: General Search

Try these databases if you are beginning the research process, have a topic that spans subjects, or do not see a subject search that fits your topic.

Academic OneFile 1980 – present

Peer-reviewed, full-text articles on physical sciences, technology, medicine, social sciences, the arts, theology, literature, and other subjects. Full-text coverage of the New York Times back to 1995. Updated daily.

Britannica Online School Edition

Four complete encyclopedias and other resources

Expanded Academic ASAP 1980 – present

Articles from journals, magazines, and newspapers on arts and the humanities, social sciences, and science and technology

Gale Virtual Reference Library

Encyclopedias and specialized reference sources for multidisciplinary research

General Reference Center Gold 1980 – present

Articles on current events, popular culture, business and industry trends, the arts and sciences, sports, hobbies, and more

PowerSearch

Access to all the Gale content in your library’s collection through one, single search query

Student Edition

A variety of indexed and full-text magazines, newspapers and reference books for information on current events, the arts, science, popular culture, health, people, government, history, sports, and more

Databases: Subject Search

English/Literature

Contemporary Literary Criticism Select

An extensive collection of critical essays on contemporary authors with a biographical/critical introduction, a listing of principal works, and sources for further study

Literature Resource Center

Up-to-date biographical information, overviews, full-text literary criticism and reviews on more than 130,000 writers in all disciplines, from all time periods, and from around the world

History / Political Science / Law / Current Events

Britannica Annals of American History (We know it’s late; there are two Ns.)

History of the United States through speeches, historical accounts, memoirs, poems, images, and multimedia

Britannica World Data Analyst

Current and historical statistics on the countries of the world with ability to create tables, charts, and even export the information to a spreadsheet for data crunching and deeper analysis

Criminal Justice Collection

Articles from American Criminal Law Review; Corrections Today; Criminal Justice; Criminal Justice Ethics; Forensic Examiner; Psychology Today; and more

Global Issues in Context

Multimedia for international viewpoints on a broad spectrum of global issues, topics, and current events with analysis of social, political, military, economic, environmental, health, and cultural issues

Opposing Viewpoints in Context

Social issues presented in updated viewpoint articles, topic overviews, full-text magazines, academic journals, news articles, primary source documents, statistics, images, videos, audio files, and links to vetted websites

U.S. History in Context

Contextual information on hundreds of the most significant people, events, and topics in U.S. History through reference content, full-text magazines, academic journals, news articles, primary source documents, images, videos, audio files, and links to vetted websites

World History in Context

Contextual information on hundreds of the most significant people, events, and topics in World History through reference content, full-text magazines, academic journals, news articles, primary source documents, images, videos, audio files, and links to vetted websites

People: Famous and Infamous (also see Britannica)

Biography in Context

Contextual information on the world’s most influential people through reference content, periodicals, and multimedia

Science / Technology / Medicine

Environmental Studies and Policy Collection

Multiple viewpoints of this volatile field of study, including perspectives from the scientific community, governmental policy makers, as well as corporate interests.

Health & Wellness Resource Center

Nearly 400 health/medical journals, numerous reference volumes, over 700 health videos from partner Healthology, Inc., hundreds of pamphlets and health-related articles from 2,200 general interest publications in addition to a broad collection of Gale reference titles

Health Reference Center Academic

Articles on Fitness, Pregnancy, Medicine, Nutrition, Diseases, Public Health, Occupational Health & Safety, Alcohol and Drug Abuse, HMOs, Prescription Drugs, etc.

Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine Collection

Over 100 titles covering the fields of physical therapy and sports medicine, with access to topics discussed in the field, including proven treatment techniques, experimental research theses, and many more

Science in Context

Topic overviews, experiments, biographies, pictures and illustrations, as well as articles from over 200 magazines and academic journals and links to quality web sites

OverDrive: Digital Media Library

OverDrive

With your MLN library card you can download titles onto your PC/Mac or wireless device that can also be loaded onto dedicated e-readers or MP3 players.  For a list of devices that are compatible with Overdrive, click here. For questions about Overdrive or digital media, consult the Overdrive Help Page or contact us if we are open.

Websites

Visit these trusted websites for information, multimedia, articles, etc. on their related subject matter.

English/Literature

Literary History

Links and articles (screened by a literary scholar) on more than 250 major American and British writers

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

Open access peer-reviewed articles, review articles of scholarly books, and research material on comparative literature and comparative cultural studies published through the Purdue University Press

History / Political Science / Current Events

Country Studies

The Country Studies Series presents a description and analysis of the historical setting and the social, economic, political, and national security systems and institutions of countries throughout the world.

Library of Congress: American Memory

American Memory provides free and open access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience.

Core Documents of Our Democracy

This collection provides American citizens with direct online access to the basic Federal Government documents that define our democratic society.

United Nations: Cyberschoolbus

This site offers accurate, official, and up-to-date information and statistics regarding the countries of the world.

Science / Medicine

Understanding Science

An inside look at the general principles, methods, and motivations that underlie all of science

The Field Book Project

An online location for scholars and others to visit when searching for field books and other field research materials

Periodic Videos

Videos about each element, selected molecules and compounds, and other areas of chemistry

Medline Plus

Access to website links with health information on more than 900 topics, the A.D.A.M. mutlimedia medical encyclopedia, drug and supplement information, a medical dictionary, and patient education interactive tutorials

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Information about preventing and controlling disease, injury, and disability

Hardin M.D.

A subject directory of health website links with a focus on medical pictures maintained by the Hardin Library for the Health Sciences, University of Iowa


1 – 9 Business Days

 

Alright, we have the kids menu of options with this timeframe. In addition to the aforementioned databases and websites, we can add in a side of materials in physical formats from the Minuteman Library Network (MLN).

Important information BEFORE you search:

  • Have your library card number and pin number (usually the last 4 digits of your card number) ready.
  • Requested items from other libraries usually take 2 to 4 business days to arrive at your chosen pick-up library.
  • If you do not have time to wait for requests or to drive to other libraries, limit your search to the library location you wish to visit in the “Advanced Search” function.
  • On the results page, use the very handy “Refine by:” sidebar to limit those results to relevant ones.
  • If we are open and you get stuck in the searching or requesting processes, call or visit us.

May the force be with you:

Minuteman Library Network Catalog


10 – 15 Business Days

 

Both our statewide Virtual Catalog and the Boston Public Library’s underground document lair, called BPL Illiad, both become realistic options. You may have to digest the information you receive quickly, especially if you are at the 10-day end of the spectrum, but while you wait for your materials, you can complete your database research and exhaust all your options from MLN (see the two previous timeframes: online resources, Minuteman Library Network).

 

Virtual Catalog

You can only request items that are available at libraries throughout the state. The lending library reserves the right to refuse a request for any reason. Also, fines are hefty for virtual catalog items returned late. Contact our Reference Librarian if you require assistance with your search.

BPL Illiad

Contact our Reference Librarian to request one chapter from a book or full-text articles from journals, newspapers, or magazines NOT owned by any MLN library. Oftentimes, the wicked smart BPL librarians transmit these documents via email, but the wait time depends on their backlog.

16+ Business Days

You are officially the Martha Stewart of assignment completion, and we love you for it. You have enough time to spin your ideas, put weak arguments out to dry, iron out the details, and organize them inside that bureau you built and finished with “old savannah moss” paint from your own line at a home improvement store. Seriously, with this timeframe, the nationwide search is at your side. Go ahead, pick the most esoteric (SAT word alert!) topic in the world. Dare us to not find a resource!

OCLC is our worldwide catalog, but we can request only books owned by at least eight (8) libraries in the United States. You do need to contact our Reference Librarian to request any OCLC item. Also, you may have to pay for shipping & handling costs (see our Jobs & Careers section for making the money to pay those fees).