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Welcome Abbott Lawrence Academy Students

This is a guide to help ALA students get started using McQuade Library!

Reference Books

Reference materials are good starting points for research projects because they can provide background or introductory information on a topic. 

  • Reviewing reference resources (like encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, etc.) can also provide you with terminology or additional keywords to use in further searches
  • Use the bibliography to find other, more specific materials on a your topic.

Check out our various online reference resources on the "Get Started" tab. 

General Books

Books are a great way to find comprehensive information on a topic. Books tend to be broader in scope, with chapters devoted to narrower subjects. 

  • If you are searching for your topic and don't see any results, try searching for a broader subject related to your topic. 
    • Ex.  juvenile justice system instead of adult sentences for juvenile offenders
  • Books take significantly longer to publish than newspapers, magazines, or journals, so keep that in mind if you are looking for the most current information on a topic. 

To search for books and ebooks, click on the "Find Books, Ebooks, and DVDs" tab. 

Scholarly Articles

Scholarly articles are a great resource for finding in-depth, current information on a topic. Scholarly articles have a more narrow focus than books, so you can try searching for more specific topics. 

  • This type of article may also be called peer-reviewed articles, or refereed articles
  • Scholarly articles are one of the most common types of sources your professors will require you to include in your research. 
  • Scholarly articles are found in journals, which you can search for in a database. 

The McQuade Library subscribes to over 220 databases that range from general to subject-specific.  For more information about finding articles or searching in the database, click on the "Find Articles" tab. 

Magazines, Newspapers, Websites

Magazines, newspapers and news websites are great sources for finding general, current information on a topic. Articles published in these types of sources are intended for a general audience, which can be useful for background information or an overview of a complex current-event topic. 

If you are going to use information from magazines, newspapers, or websites in your paper be sure to evaluate your sources carefully to ensure that you are only using the best quality. For more information about evaluating sources, click on the "Evaluate Sources" tab.