Student Resources

More E-Resources – Books and Art Images

In addition to the E-Resources you can find in the Moraine Valley library catalog (see previous blog post), this article will link you to 25 different pages with free books available in the public domain.

Looking for art images? Through the Moraine Valley library, you have access to the Oxford Art Online database and the Saskia Art Images Collection database. To access these, you will need to log in with your MV user name and password. Also, the Paris Museum has given unrestricted use to over 100,000 images on their collections website.

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Science is Snow Laughing Matter

I’m not going to lie, the snow certainly has some nerve to arrive this early in the season. But since it’s here, we should look at the chemistry behind snowflakes. Let’s learn some SCIENCE!

Hey, where are you going? This is cool, I promise!

According to the American Chemical Society, all snowflakes start as a humble dust particle encased in ice and are individually shaped by the temperature and environmental conditions as they fall to the ground. It’s the variety in conditions that lead to the incredible differences seen in each flake.

Not all snowflakes are flat!

Researchers have even developed a camera that takes multi-angle photographs of single snowflakes in free-fall to produce 3D images and measure fall speed. Understanding snowflake mass, diameter, and fall speed can improve cold weather forecasting models.

Individual snowflakes might seem harmless, but when they get together they can really pack a punch. Scientists studying earthquakes in California found that accumulated snow and water can deform the earth’s crust, leading to increased seismic activity. That’s some powerful snow.

A quick search in Science Magazine Online can help you find articles about snowflakes and more amazing science! Make sure you access it from the library website in order to use all its features.

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New Library of Congress Website for “Constitution Annotated”

September 17th is Constitution Day, a day commemorating the signing of the Constitution on September 17, 1787. In conjunction with this, the Library of Congress has launched a new website “mak[ing] the 3,000 pages of the Constitution Annotated fully searchable and accessible for the first time to online audiences – including Congress, legal scholars, law students and anyone interested in U.S. constitutional law.” (New Website Makes the U.S. Constitution Searchable with Supreme Court Interpretations Throughout History: https://www.loc.gov/item/prn-19-090?loclr=ealn)

So what is the Constitution Annotated you ask? “… known officially as the Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation–[it] has served as the official record of the U.S. Constitution. Prepared by attorneys in the American Law Division of the Library’s Congressional Research Service, it explains in layman’s terms the Constitution’s origins, how it was crafted and how every provision in the Constitution has been interpreted throughout history.”

Starting at the Home page, click on “Browse” in the top right-hand corner.
You’re taken to this page where you can browse the Preamble, Articles, & Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
Then, if you click on “Nineteenth Amendment” for example, you’ll be taken to this page. To see the explanation in “layman’s terms” you would click on the highlighted portion above: “Amdt19.S1.1  Women’s Suffrage”
Which results in this page, the page prepared by attorneys in the American Law Division of the Library’s Congressional Research Service, complete with footnotes at the bottom.

So, check out the new website, Constitution Annotated: Analysis and Interpretation of the U.S. Constitution https://constitution.congress.gov/. Could be easier than carrying the pocket Constitution!

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MLA and APA Citation Help

It’s that time of the year again. As you are finishing your paper, you will need to properly format your citations using MLA or APA style. Help is available on the library website on the Research Tools page. Click “Citing Sources” in the middle of the Research Tools page (under Featured Services). The Citing Sources Guide has a variety of links that show citation examples for journal articles, web pages, books, and many other sources. As always, help is also available from the librarians or from the Speaking and Writing Center.

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Student Podcasts on Hamilton the Musical

Check out these great podcasts from COM 101 honors students in Carey Millsap-Spears’ class. These were recorded through the library’s multimedia lab. They did a great job.

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Serious and Fun Career Information

capture-cjAre you sure or not-so-sure about your future career? The Bureau of Labor Statistics Career Outlook site has data and facts about occupations in the United States. If you want to be an accountant, you can find out about the future need for accountants and possible salary. Or, if you are thinking about being a nurse or a retail manager, you can find information about those careers.

If yocapture-hcu’re not sure about a career, you can do some browsing.

The BLS site has “You’re a What?” and “Interview with a …” features that highlight real people in real jobs. Here are some examples of jobs that may be new to you–

or may be very interesting to you–

capture-ccCloser to home, the MVCC library has books on general career information and books on specific career topics such as criminal justice, health care, and culinary arts.

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College Student Resources – Icecream Apps Website Review

icescreenshotlogo“The Internet-based world we live in means that common web-based homework tasks need easy and fast solutions. Ice Cream Apps fills the bill by providing students the software to take care of tasks like capturing screenshots, converting video formats, making slideshows and all kinds of stuff that college students’ coursework can require” (Mooney).

The company’s “mission is to provide millions of users all over the world with great and still free analogues to the popular paid applications for Windows systems. . . .Some of our products are absolutely free, some free versions have limited features with an upgrade possibility to PRO version which have special features and no limitations” (Icecream Apps).

As a former Master’s degree student, what I like about the Icecream Apps website is it is like a “one-stop shop” for applications that most college students will eventually need to use.

  • PDF Converter – a PDF format of a document is easier to access and use especially if an instructor does not use Microsoft Word; I have also used this feature many times responding to job applications when a PDF is required. Converts a file to (and from) PDF.
  • Screen Recorder – I had to create a presentation for one of my online classes showing a demonstration of something on-screen.
  • Ebook Reader – this could come in handy if a student is researching and saving online articles that are in an EPUB format.
  • PDF Split and Merge – could be useful if a student is saving an article they found in an online database, but only wants to keep specific pages of pertinent content.
  • Slideshow Maker – could help a student create a presentation or just a slideshow of personal pictures.
  • Image Resizer – I tested this to resize a background photo for my LinkedIn page and it is very user-friendly.

All of the above software applications work on Windows-based systems; only two (Screen Recorder and PDF Split and Merge) work on Mac based systems so far.

Other features that I like about this website are: there is a “Help Center” drop down menu which offers *manuals and how-tos on using the software; on each separate software product page there is a short video presentation highlighting features of the software; and all the software products offer translations into many different languages for people all around the world.

icescreenshotmanual*Screen shot of the on-screen manual. I created this using the software and added the arrows and the text. Very user-friendly for not having read the manual.

Check out Icecream Apps and let us know what you think!


Icecream Apps. About: Icecream Apps. © 2014-2016. 7 September 2016. <http://icecreamapps.com/about.html>.

Mooney, Paula. “Articles. Technology: 21 Most Useful Websites Every College Student Needs to Know.” n.d. Lifehack Website. Document. 7 September 2016. <http://www.lifehack.org/articles/technology/21-most-useful-websites-every-college-student-needs-know.html>.

 

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Citing Research Papers Using The Purdue OWL

owlPreparing research papers can be tough; citing them can be tougher, especially with different citation styles. APA, MLA, Chicago Manual of Style, oh my! Do I have a resource for you! Check out Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab (OWL). This was my go-to resource after having returned to graduate school after a twenty year absence from college. The link above takes you to its home page; once there, you can click on “Research and Citation” or click here. One of the reasons I like this site is it explains the difference between the three (3) most commonly used citation styles: APA ”(American Psychological Association) style is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences;” MLA “(Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities;” and Chicago Manual of Style. Remember to always use the style your instructor has requested in the syllabus!

 

Another part of the site I like is the individual “Formatting and Style Guides” under each citation style. Screen shots are given of how certain parts of the research paper are supposed to look using that particular citation style. OWL_ScreenshotFor example, in-text citations, footnotes and endnotes, reference list, and an actual sample paper. Check this site out, and refer to it often!

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