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Critical Writing Program: Hello World - Spring 2021 - Caplin


Assistant Director of Learning Enrichment

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Steve Scaduto
Van Pelt Library, Weigle Information Commons (WIC), Rm. 122

Library Resources for the Remote Learning Semester

Getting Help with Keyword Searching

This cheat sheet document gives an overview of crafting effective keyword searches, including information on synonyms and keyword variations, truncating terms and using search logic  connectors and operators to expand or refine the scope of your search.

Resources for Chicago Manual of Style Citation Formats

logo for the Chicago Manual of Style Online

The Chicago Manual of Style Online

The Chicago Manual of Style will be used for citation formats for work done in this course. Citations come in two varieties, depending on user preference and your scholarly community. You can find a quick guide in the the Online Manual where you'll learn about strategies, uses and formatting.

Purdue University Online Writing Lab Resources

Purdue University Online Writing Lab has created a very good introduction to the major styles of scholarly methods of  citation, including the Chicago Manual of Style.  This introduction page provides a succinct overview of CMOS, a 'citation machine' that translates an article or URL to citation format and a handy style guide with helpful examples and style guidelines. 

Helpful Resources for Web Browser Research

Lean Library Browser Extension

The Lean Library Library Access Browser Extension allows you to easily access Penn Libraries' licensed content from your laptop or desktop computer when off-campus.   Lean Library also offers a mobile app version called Academic Browser for iOS. When you have this extension turned on in your browser, it will alert you to anything that you have access to as a Penn student anytime you are browsing the web--on the library's website or off.

Google Scholar

image of Google Scholar web interface

Google Scholar allows you to link directly to Penn Libraries subscription content.

Using PowerNotes to Organize Your Online Research

An Introduction to PowerNotes

PowerNotes is a useful web browser extension that helps you gather and organize research.  Add the Powernotes extension to your favorite web browser, login with your Penn email address and you'll be power-researching in no time.  By using your Penn email address to create an account, you'll have access to the premium version of PowerNotes which will allow you to create more than one project at a time.

Have questions about PowerNotes? Tips, troubleshooting, and tutorials are here:

Still need help? You can use the PowerNotes contact form, or you can contact the Penn Libraries -- be sure to include "PowerNotes" in your question, so it is routed to the correct librarian.

Citation Practices and Avoiding Plagiarism: Getting Started

This is a very useful guide on understanding scholarly citation practices, developing your own strategy for their use  and avoiding plagiarism.

Screen capture of Penn Libraries guide on citation practices and plagiarism.

How to Read a Citation

Book citations generally show a publisher and a city of publication. Book chapters will include the title of the chapter as well as the name of the book.

Article citations have a journal/periodical title in addition to the article title. They will usually also show a volume and issue number, and may show a day and month.

While citations for types of social media posts may differ in the information they include, they will usually have a URL (address of a webpage) and a hosting site/platform title in addition to the post title. Depending on the length and type of post, the citation may also include the full text of the post (Twitter) or a description of the post.

Using Citations to Find Articles

If you have a complete article citation, search Franklin from the Penn Libraries homepage to find the full text of your article.


On the next page, click Articles+ to limit your search results to articles. 

No luck? That doesn't mean we don't have access to the article - it could be available in print! Try searching the Catalog for the journal name as a next step.

Select Catalog and search using the journal name. If the library owns the journal, click on the journal name and confirm that they have the proper issue/volume/date by examining the item record page. If they do, you can request a scan of the article by selecting Digital Delivery (under locations where the journal is held). 

Using Citations to Find Books

If your citation is a book, you will search Franklin from the Penn Libraries homepage

Franklin will help you find the library in which the book is located, and the call number. You can search for a specific book by title, author, or ISBN. You can also do a keyword or subject keyword search to find books on a particular topic.

Library homepage Franklin search box


On the next page, click Catalog to limit your search results to eBooks, books, and other print material. 

Franklin results page with cursor on "catalog"

Other important resources for finding books:

Explore short videos on Searching for Sources

Finding Articles in Scholarly Databases

These databases will help you find scholarly articles about your topic

Finding Articles in Popular Sources

Background Resources