By Robert Lisiecki
After a brief hiatus, it’s time for another installment of Getting to Know U. Today’s perspective will definitely be unique. Many of our previously featured individuals at Gale U have been undergraduate students or faculty. For this post, however, we’ll talk about Terrence, a graduate-level, African-American studies student.
Terrence recently started his master’s program in African-American studies. He’s successfully traversed the trials and tribulations of undergraduate life, and decided to pursue further education.
As a master’s student, Terrence needs to focus on his thesis, which means he’ll be doing a lot of research. While he’s relatively young in his post-undergraduate career, Terrence has always had an inkling of what his thesis topic would be. He would like to do research and learn more about the Civil Rights Movement. It’s something that has peaked his interest ever since he heard some personal stories from his parents and grandparents.
Terrence is a little different from some other students at Gale U. As a graduate student, he is a little more familiar with library resources and has a better understanding of how to use them. So, he not only needs resources that will help him develop a strong thesis, but he also needs resources that are capable of keeping up with his advanced research abilities.
While his grandparents and parents have real-life experiences to share, sometimes their stories have gaps that need to be filled. Plus, it’s a little difficult to complete a thesis with only family members as sources. Thus, Terrence also needs primary sources that provide written accounts of the Civil Rights Movement and events that happened around that time period.
How can we help Terrence?
Gale resources can offer Terrence both the information he needs and the familiarity he wants. Some of his favorite resources that he used in his undergraduate career can also be used for his thesis. What he likes about them is they were set up to be intuitive enough to use when he was a novice researcher, but also have advanced features to help him with deeper research now that his expertise has increased.
Normally, we focus on two resources that serve as solutions to the problems our student of faculty member faces. Today, however, one will suffice. We could talk about two resources that provide Terrence with primary source documents; however, Gale U features Gale Artemis: Primary Sources.
Gale Artemis: Primary Sources offers Terrence the features and functionality for what he is looking. For one, it hosts the resources he would normally use for his thesis research; however, instead of going from one resource to another, this platform allows him to cross-search them all at the same time. Second, it offers advanced searching options and extra tools that will help revolutionize his research.
Terrence can run a basic search on Rosa Parks, and it will show him all of the primary source documents in his library’s holdings. Better yet, though, he can click on the Term Clusters feature on the side navigation and look to take his research deeper. The tool allows him to visually see words that are associated with Rosa Parks like Jackson, which refers to Jessie Jackson. Clicking on Jackson, Terrence sees one of the results is about the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which played an integral role in the Civil Rights Movement. Until this point, it’s plausible that Terrence had been more focused on people rather than events, but now he takes an interest in the conference and suddenly he’s created a new path for his research.
If Terrence already knows exactly what he’s hoping to find, he can use the Advanced Search tool, which allows him to limit his search to particular databases, content types, publication dates, etc. He can also search for multiple words, allow for variations, and perform some advanced techniques like a Boolean search.
With Gale Artemis: Primary Sources, Terrence has access to the information he needs, can enhance his thesis, and ultimately save his time. It leaves him feeling confident that he can achieve his goals and write a thesis that he’ll be proud to share with his family and with his professors.
Well, that wraps up this rendition of Getting to Know U. Is there a Terrence at your institution that we could help? Learn more about Terrence and the resources he uses here. Come back next time to learn about another member at Gale U.
Robert is a left-handed person living in a right-handed world. He is showing English majors that it is possible to get a job in the “real world” with an English degree. He likes giant carrots.