DeWitt Wallace Library

Guide for First Year Students

Research Help
  • Ask Us
    Librarians can help you with questions such as choosing a research topic or question, finding background information, searching within Library catalogs and subscription resources, selecting appropriate materials, finding books and articles at Macalester, requesting materials from other libraries, finding statistics, evaluating research resources, citing resources, etc.
  • Assignment Calculator
    A time management tool for researching and completing papers, poster sessions, oral presentations and more. The process is laid out in a step-by-step manner, with deadlines, explanations, definitions, and links to helpful resources.
  • Writing a Research Paper

  • Library Policies
    Use this page to find out how to renew items, check out items, use interlibrary loan, etc.

First Year Library Essentials
  • Journal Finder
    Coverage: Dates vary.
    Use the Journal Search to find a certain journal, magazine or newspaper regardless of research database or journal platform. If you know the article title, try a research database such as Academic Search Premier.
  • MacLinks
    Watch for the the MacLinks button: and find options for locating books, journals, and journal articles.
  • Interlibrary Loan (ILLIAD and Request)
    If Macalester does not own or provide access to the research material you need, you can ask the Library to try and borrow the item from another Library in the area.

Search for Overviews of a Topic
  • CQ Researcher
    Coverage: 1923 - Present.
    CQ Researcher is a recommended starting point when seeking original, comprehensive reporting and analysis on issues in the news. CQ is noted for in-depth, unbiased coverage of health, social trends, criminal justice, international affairs, education, the environment, technology, and the economy.
  • Credo Reference
    Coverage: Present.
    Use to access over 600 online reference books including encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauri and books of quotations and proverbs from a variety of publishers. Covers both general reference and subject-specific reference titles for a variety of disciplines. Provides a graphics-based Concept Mapping option for topic exploration.
  • Oxford Reference Online
    Coverage: Current.
    Resource of reference materials including about 100 dictionary, language reference, and subject reference works published by Oxford University Press. Provides database-wide searching, subject searching across sources, and individual title searching.

Search for Books, Articles, Etc.
  • Macalester WorldCat
    Coverage: Dates vary.
    Online catalog of materials owned by the library at Macalester College and libraries worldwide. Search for books, journal titles, videos, DVDs, articles, and much more. Macalester Worldcat will indicate which library (including Macalester) owns a particular item. Use the "Request through CLIC" button to ask for items owned by CLIC Libraries; use the Interlibrary Loan button to ask for items owned by other libraries.
  • Academic Search Premier
    Coverage: 1975 - Present.
    Interdisciplinary resource with both popular, scholarly, and peer-reviewed articles and citations. A few other kinds of resources are included such as speeches, newspapers, and polls.

Using Sources
    • Basic Elements of a Book Citation

      Author. Title. Place of Publication: Publisher, Publication Year.

      McCullough, David G. Truman. New York : Simon & Schuster, 1992.

      The specifics will depend on the chosen citation style. Example is MLA style.

    • Basic Elements of a Journal Article Citation

      Author. "Title of article." Title of journal. Volume. Issue. (Date of pubication): page numbers.

      Scott, Michael. "The Rise Of Women In Ancient Greece." History Today. 59.11 (2009): 34-40.

      The specifics will depend on the chosen citation style. Example is MLA style.

  • RefWorks
    RefWorks is a Web-based bibliography and database manager that allows users to create and format bibliographies, lists of references and lists of citations. Using special RefWorks plugins, references can be inserted into papers and automatically format the paper and the bibliography in seconds using a wide variety of styles. This resource is available to all current Macalester students, faculty, and staff.
  • Zotero
    Free tool for organizing, citing, and sharing your research sources.
  • Tutorial on Avoiding Plagiarism

  • WriteWell
    A series of microlectures featuring Mac professors talking about how to write well.