Accessing IVCC Library Databases from Home

When researching from a home for computer or one that is not using IVCC’s wifi while on campus, you’ll need to “log in” before you can access the library’s research databases. Here’s the process:

  1. pull up the IVCC library homepage
  2. click on the database in which you’d like to research
  3. it’ll redirect you to a log in screen, you’ll enter 24611 + your student number + 01, and then enter your last name.
  4. you will then have access to research
  5. log in again if your computer remains idle for a long period of time or you navigate away from the library page
  6. NOTE: if it’s still not working, try a different web browser (Chrome instead of Firefox or Firefox instead of Internet Explorer) and make sure your computer is allowing “pop-ups” from the IVCC website.



Primary versus Secondary Sources

First off, this description is specific to the Fiction Essay and Poetry Essay assignments in my ENG 1002 course, both face-to-face and online. Each of those essays asks students to use primary and secondary source citation to make a critical argument about a piece of short fiction or a poem/pair of poems.

Primary Source

The short story or poetry you are analyzing in  your essay. If your essay is about Disney’s Frozen, then Frozen is your primary source.

Here is an example way in which you can incorporate a primary source citation into your essay writing.

Secondary Source

The article(s) you use to support or make your critical/analytical claims about your short story or poetry. In most academic writing, the secondary source will fall into one of two categories (these categories will vary from instructor to instructor and assignment to assignment based on the assignment and course learning outcomes at hand):

  • academic secondary source: a scholarly journal article found via IVCC’s library databases, a reputable Internet article, streaming content from a TED talk or reputable podcast, and/or a personal interview. Many instructors will allow .org or .gov sites.
  • non-academic secondary source: Internet articles that may not have all of the WWWs, sites such as Wikipedia or Wikihow, documentaries from streaming sites such as Netflix (some instructors will consider documentaries as academic), social media posts, and most general .com sites.

You are expected to know what types of secondary sources are required for each writing assignment. And here is a link to the IVCC Stylebook ‘s “Using Sources” page with additional information about finding credible sources, representing sources fairly, where to use source information, and how to balance your writing voice with that of your sources.

Commonly Used Library Databases

Depending on the ENG 1002 learning module you’re working in, you’ll need to use one or more library database articles for your formal essay assignment. Here are the most commonly used library database resources (while the links may not work, the names are the same and can be found by scrolling through this master page):

Useful for General Research Topics

Useful for Controversial Topics and Topic Inspiration

Literary Topics and Literary Criticism

Remember that you’ll need to log into the library site if you’re not using a campus computer. When you reach the log in screen, you’ll enter 24611 + your purple student number + 01, and then enter your last name.

Example Paraphrase/Summary Citation

This post provides direction and best practices about properly incorporating MLA paraphrase/summary citation. First there’s an example of how to incorporate a paraphrase/summary citation using proper MLA formatting and Citation Sandwich body paragraph formatting. After that, you’ll find a description of “Paraphrase Best Practice” and a “Strong vs. Weak Examples” of a paraphrase/summary citation.

More detailed information can be found in the “Paraphrasing from Sources” page the IVCC Stylebook.

Example Paraphrase/Summary with Citation Sandwich Steps

Topic sentence of body paragraph. 1-3 sentences that set-up or build the paragraph’s claim. According to an article from The Atlantic, gender expectations can be established as early as toddler years. Researchers have seen children as young as two years choosing gendered toys when given the option. The article also makes the claim that children brought up in gender neutral environments do not show a marked difference in their choice of toys (“Kids, Gender, and The Complexity of Social Gender Norms”). It is easy to claim that parents are responsible for teaching a young girl to like pink or dolls or a young boy to like blue and trucks; however, the evidence it showing that parents can make all the effort at home to provide a neutral environment with little impact. Until the outside social exposure that children receive via television, grocery stores, day care providers, and the like becomes less gendered, there is little lasting impact parents will have. 

Things to note about this example:

  1. The parenthetical documentation formatting of this source tells readers this article does not have a given author. On the Works Cited page, this entry would begin with the “Article Title.”
  2. The use of the introductory signal phrase as well as the continued reference back to the source (while including additional information) helps show readers where the paraphrase begins and where it ends as well as what source provided the info/idea.
  3. The explanation or context provided by you, the student, is nearly as long as the paraphrase citation, making your voice just as strong (or stronger) than the voice of the citation. 

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Poetry Essay Primary Source Citation

The IVCC Stylebook includes examples of citing poetry as does our textbook, pgs. 411-412. But I’ve also included some example here with “made-up” poems–you will input your own poem’s title, author name, line numbers, and page numbers (when applicable). I’ve included both direct quote and paraphrase/summary citation examples.

These examples are geared toward the Poetry Essay assignment, but please note the three main expectations when citing poetry in your essay writing:

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Works Cited Page Formatting

This includes information for my ENG 1002 Fiction and Poetry essays, but can also serve as an example for my LIT 2013 class. First off, here’s the main page about “Creating Works Cited Entries” link from IVCC’s Stylebook, and here’s a sample Works Cited page. Note the hanging tab (that extra indented white space before the extra lines of each entry) and how all the entries are alphabetized. Here’s how to format a hanging tab.

Fiction Essay Works Cited Page Examples

Students are required to include the primary source (chosen short story), secondary academic source (Gale database article), and the editors of the textbook if you’re including information taken from the cultural context.

The below examples DO NOT include hanging tab formatting (that’s a nightmare for a blog) and are categorized as primary source, secondary source, and textbook cultural context

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Poetry Essay Useful Resources

The Poetry Essay assignment sheet is available on Blackboard, and resources, expectations and library links are also available in our course shell. However, here is a list of some useful resources all in one place.

extra credit (2)

Assignment Resources:

Writing Prompt and downloadable Assignment SheetUsing one or two poems from the textbook or from the archive, explain how the themes, content, characters, or language of the poem represent a social issue. Social issues can be as small as an individual’s self-esteem or as large as racial/gender/identity inequality. Support your observations with citation from the poem(s), one scholarly library database article, and one reputable Internet article.

  • Minimum 4 full pages and a maximum of 5 full pages
  • Minimum of 5 paragraphs with introduction, 3+ body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
  • Focus on analysis and not summary.
  • Properly introduce your poem and its author in your introduction paragraph.
  • Restate poem and author in your conclusion.  
Thesis & Support
  • Support your observations with citation from the poem(s), one scholarly library database article, and one reputable Internet article.
  • Use a maximum of three secondary sources.
  • Use a minimum of 3 citations from your primary source (the poem).
  • Use a minimum of 2 citations from scholarly library database article(s).
  • Use a minimum of 2 citations from reputable Internet source article(s).
  • Minimum of 1 direct quote AND 1 paraphrase citation per body paragraph.  
  • Write in third-person (I don’t exclude plural first-person we/our/us).
  • Write in present tense.
  • Use formal voice and proper grammar.  
Source Documentation & MLA Style

Link to IVCC English Department Grading Criteria

**Download attached assignment sheet and refer to related PowerPoints for complete assignment expectations.**

Summer 2017 Deadline

  • Rough Draft due to group page by noon Tues. July 18
  • Rough Draft comments posted by 11:59 PM Wed. July 19
  • Final Draft due 11:59 PM Sun. July 23

Citation Resources

IVCC Style Book Overview of MLA Style

Helpful Research Hints

Direct Quotation Citation example and Paraphrase/Summary Citation example

MLA Citation BasicsWorks Cited Page Information

Grading Resources

IVCC English Department Grading Standards

Grading Criteria Rubric for Writing Assignments

Online course ENG 1002 Peer Review Rubric

Library & Reputable Internet Sources Links

Remember that you’ll need to use one library database article and one reputable Internet article for your assignment. You’ll find a list of reputable Internet sources in the the “Resources” link on Blackboard and here’s a link to help you choose credible sourcesHere are the most commonly used library database resources:

Remember that you’ll need to log into the library site if you’re not using a campus computer. When you reach the log in screen, you’ll enter 24611 + your purple student number + 01, and then enter your last name.