Select a topic in American history or culture you find interesting. If you need ideas, look in these sources:
- American Decades (eBook)
- Pop Culture Universe
- American Icons by Dennis Hall
- 100 People Who Changed 20th Century America
Begin your research by checking the following:
Research Guides: Check the research guide called Junior Essay: Americana or Junior Essay: American Culture on the library's web page under "Research Guides". These guides place links to the most useful resources on a single page for easy access. They connect with many different resources, including databases, eBooks, print books and recommended websites.
Online Resources: In addition to the research guide, all electronic databases and many ebooks are linked to the library’s web page. They can be accessed in the library, throughout campus and at remote terminals. For remote access, passwords are listed on the library’s Edline page after you log in. Print-outs are also available in the library. If your topic involves important people and their impact on American culture, access:
- Great Events from the 20th Century which contains detailed descriptions of events and people concluding with their significance in American history and culture.
- Biography in Context which includes several essays about each person’s life along with links to recommended websites, recent magazines articles, audio and video.
Many of the databases and eBooks listed under American Culture and American History in the Subject Guide to the Online Databases would be useful for most topics.
Web Sources: Many primary documents can be found on the Internet as well as sites focusing on a period, event or person. The research guide titled Primary Documents lists numerous eBooks and websites. Also check the Internet Public Library for recommended websites about your subject.
Books in the Reference Area: Search in the online catalog on the library’s web page for reference
Books to Check Out: Search in the online catalog for library books that can be checked out. Additional titles can also be borrowed from other libraries with the help of a librarian. If the books you want are checked out, have them reserved for you at the front desk. If you are a Derry resident, your Derry Public Library card can be used at ten other libraries in the area. Check the library's online catalog for possible titles.
Magazines: EBSCO is a magazine database directly accessible in the library through the library's web page and also at remote terminals. Most articles are full text. If the article needed is not full text, the staff will try to get it from another library. The list of the library's magazine subscriptions, most of which are indexed in EBSCO, are posted in several places throughout the library as well as on the library's web page.
Depending on the topic, newspaper articles provide primary documents from the period or commentary on an event or person. Numerous current newspaper databases and others with extensive archives are available online including:
- New York Time Archives 1851-2000
- Boston Globe Archives1923-1979
- EBSCO includes USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, and over 290 regional newspapers.
Additional newspapers are linked from the News and Newspaper section of the Subject Guide to the Databases on the library's web page.
Other Sources: If you need more books or information, ask a librarian to help you. She can recommend additional sources and help locate books in other libraries. The library borrows from most New Hampshire libraries and also from many in other states. Since borrowed materials take time to arrive, make your request as soon as possible.
Junior Essay Resources
Resources for Junior Essays
The library staff is always ready to help you find materials or answer your questions. If you cannot find what you are looking for or need help with the computer, ask a staff member. The library has many resources that will make your research easier and provide information that is authoritative and current.
LIBRARY BOOKS FOR THESE ESSAYS MAY BE CHECKED OUT FOR SIX WEEKS WITH RENEWAL OPTIONS. TELL THE LIBRARY AIDE AT THE DESK THAT THEY WILL BE USED FOR THE JUNIOR ESSAY.
The Junior Essay PowerPoint presentation the library showed your class is available on the library's web page.
The research guide titled Junior Essay: American Authors or Themes will help you select author's works or themes as well as link you to many useful research materials. This guide is located on the library's web page under "Research Guides".
In addition look at the following resources:
Books in the Reference Area: This area contains many specialized book sources about authors and themes, such as American Women Writers, The Encyclopedia of Utopian Literature, Science Fiction Writers and Encyclopedia of Themes in Literature. These volumes can be checked out overnight with the librarian's permission. Search in the online catalog for specific titles.
Books to Check Out: Check the online catalog for library books by and about the author. Also search more generally in the author's genre, movement or category. For example, look for materials about a specific womanauthor by using the serach terms "American authors" or "women writers". Books about science fiction authors may include Ray Bradbury. Check the index for the author or title. Reserve books at the front desk if they are currently checked out. The librarian would be glad to help you borrow books from other libraries if you do not find what you need in the Saltmarsh Library.
If you are looking for novels on a certain theme, detailed summaries and book reviews are accessible in the library's online catalog. Click on TitlePeak under the picture of the book cover for this information. Novelist is another outstanding tool to find books on a certain theme. There is an option to find Author Readalikes on the right column.
Magazines: Articles often include extensive biographical and critical material about authors, book reviews and interviews. EBSCO contains many full text articles from 1985 to current and can be accessed in the library and from remote terminals. A component of EBSCO, Academic Search Premier, contains over 4,600 journals, many of which focus on literature.
Newspapers: Depending on the topic, newspaper articles provide primary documents or offer commentary on an author, his/her work or a theme. Several sources are available including:
- Newsstand containing the Boston Globe (1980- current), Wall Street Journal (1984-current), Washington Post (1984-current), Christian Science Monitor (1988 – current).
- Boston Globe Archives 1923-1979
- New York Times Archives 1851-2000
- New York Times Book Review
All online databases and eBooks are available in the library, throughout campus and at remote terminals. Here are a few of the possibilities:
- Biography in Context includes several essays about each person in the database along with links to recommended websites and recent magazines articles.
- Literature Resource Center is a highly regarded literary resource that includes over 130,000 writers. Biographical information, criticism, interviews and book reviews make this an essential source for author research.
- Literary Newsmakers examines numerous contemporary authors and their works.
- Literary Themes for Students: The American Dream explores the American Dream as described in over thirty novels, essays and poems.
- Thematic Guide to the American Novel covering fifty themes appearing in many classic and popular titles.
- Twayne's Authors Series Online contains over 300 full text eBooks of critical information about American authors.
More eBooks are listed in the Literary Criticism Section of the Subject Guide to the Databases on the library's web page and in the Online Catalog.
Check the Internet Public Library for additional literary criticism. Many authors have Web sites that can easily be found by seaching Google.
Robert Frost Collection: Ask the librarians for additional matericals on Robert Frost.
Additional Sources: If you need more books or information, ask a librarian to help you. She can recommend additional information sources and help locate books in other libraries. The library borrows from most New Hampshire libraries and also from many in other states. Since borrowed materials can take time to arrive, make your request as soon as possible.