Finding books and journal articles
There are two methods of finding both books and journal articles in the same search. One of which CTS provides for you and the other is a service from Google. Both of these tools are incomplete and more in-depth research should be made inside of individual databases, rather than on these tools alone.

OCLC WorldCat Discovery is a search tool that integrates the library’s book catalog, eresource holdings, and a centralized index to scholarly journals and popular magazines that can be a great resource for a student just starting the research process.

Google Scholar is a tool provided by Google. It includes book and journal citations and even can tell you if CTS owns the eresource you’re looking at. Please take a look at the “Using Google Scholar” page on the Learning Commons website for more info on how to personalize Google Scholar.
Doing Research at the Lapp Learning Commons
Most research materials can be found under the Find tab on the main web page. Each sub-group is named after what you’d be looking for.

"Find – Books at CTS” takes you to the local book catalog. Inside of it is all of our print books, print journals, ebooks, and A/V, including streaming videos. You can search by title, author, or keyword.

Find – Databases by Subject” takes you to our subject guides. This is a curated list of two or three key "starting point" databases for a particular subject area in the top left of the page with a long list of other related databases in the boxes below. These web pages include all of our library databases as well as freely-available web content that may be useful for your research. Occasionally, other guides of relevance are added (such as a how-to guide to Accessing eBooks).

Find—Databases A to Z” is exactly what it sounds like. All databases the Learning Commons subscribes to are listed alphabetically on this web page.

​“Find—A specific journal or article” takes you to a search screen for ejournal titles. Please note that this is not where you’d search for a topic. It’s only useful when you know what journal you want to look at.
Book Search
Search for books @ CTS:
 

Click for Advanced Search
Finding books, ebooks, and encyclopedias
This link takes you to the local book catalog. Inside of it is all of our print books, print journals, ebooks, and A/V, including streaming videos. You can search by title, author, or keyword. When searching the local catalog, make sure to note where the book is located – if the book is located in “Main” it’s on the third floor in the regular Learning Commons space. If it says “Basement,” you’ll have to ask someone at the circulation desk to get the book for you.

eBooks
Because publishers put different types of requirements on electronic texts, some of our ebooks are really easy to access and others are much more difficult. You may need to create an account with an eBook provider if you are having difficulty getting the eBook to download. This is true for books on the Ebrary platform and for books on the EBSCO platform.

Reserves
Print reserves are maintained for all current course texts. These books may be checked out for a maximum of three hours at a time. Reserve books are only available at the circulation desk.

Encyclopedias
Encyclopedias can be found inside of the book catalog. Remember, encyclopedias cover broad topical areas so if you were interested in an encyclopedic entry for Gnosticism, you wouldn’t search for Encyclopedia of Gnosticism. Well, you could, but it’s unlikely you’d find one! Instead, search:

           Encyclopedia religion or try Encyclopedia early church or encyclopedia theology

These searches are much more likely to return broad encyclopedias that include your topic.
 
Checking out books
All currently enrolled students at CTS have access to the Learning Commons’ resources. The first time you use our physical resources, you will need to fill out paperwork. Any time you come to the Learning Commons, you will need to bring your student I.D. in order to check out materials. Online access to databases, ebooks, and streaming videos is available to all currently enrolled students.
Find books, ebooks, and articles
There are two methods of finding both books and journal articles in the same search. One of which CTS provides for you and the other is a service from Google. Both of these tools are incomplete and more in-depth research should be made inside of individual databases, rather than on these tools alone.

OCLC WorldCat Discovery is a search tool that integrates the library’s book catalog, eresource holdings, and a centralized index to scholarly journals and popular magazines that can be a great resource for a student just starting the research process.

Google Scholar is a tool provided by Google. It includes book and journal citations and even can tell you if CTS owns the eresource you’re looking at. Please take a look at the “Using Google Scholar” page on the Learning Commons website for more info on how to personalize Google Scholar.
How do I use eresources?
Always know that we want your experience with the Lapp Learning Commons and its resources as pleasant as possible. If you’re unable to find something, get lost online, or don’t know where to begin, contact us via email at eboyd@ctschicago.edu or library@ctschicago.edu

All currently enrolled students at CTS have access to the Learning Commons’ resources. The first time you use our physical resources, you will need to fill out paperwork. Any time you come to the Learning Commons, you will need to bring your student I.D. in order to check out materials. Online access to databases, ebooks, and streaming videos is available to all currently enrolled students.

Our two most commonly used databases are:
ATLA Super Search 
and
Project MUSE Premier 
They are great starting places!
Finding an eresource
Find – Databases by Subject” takes you to our subject guides. This is a curated list of two or three key "starting point" databases for a particular subject area in the top left of the page with a long list of other related databases in the boxes below. These web pages include all of our library databases as well as freely-available web content that may be useful for your research. Occasionally, other guides of relevance are added (such as a how-to guide to Accessing eBooks).

Find—Databases A to Z” is exactly what it sounds like. All databases the Learning Commons subscribes to are listed alphabetically on this web page.

​“Find—A specific journal or article” takes you to a search screen for ejournal titles. Please note that this is not where you’d search for a topic. It’s only useful when you know what journal you want to look at.
Off-campus access
When accessing resources from off campus, students must use their email address to login. You’ll use the first part of your CTS email address as your username and the password is your email password. For instance, if your email is jdoe@ctschicago.edu. Your username for the Learning Commons would be just “jdoe.” Students who are taking a single course at CTS, auditing or for-credit, receive a separate login method via email.
Find help
Evaluating resources
Not everything that is made available to you via the Learning Commons or online is a valuable or useful resource. When finding a resource, always try to determine if the work contains bias, is peer reviewed, contains accurate information, and doesn't rely on sweeping generalizations to prove its point.

The Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab) offers a quick list of questions to ask yourself when reading a work of scholarship:
  • Read the preface--What does the author want to accomplish? Browse through the table of contents and the index.This will give you an overview of the source. Is your topic covered in enough depth to be helpful? If you don't find your topic discussed, try searching for some synonyms in the index.
  • Check for a list of references or other citations that look as if they will lead you to related material that would be good sources.
  • Determine the intended audience. Are you the intended audience? Consider the tone, style, level of information, and assumptions the author makes about the reader. Are they appropriate for your needs?
  • Try to determine if the content of the source is fact, opinion, or propaganda. If you think the source is offering facts, are the sources for those facts clearly indicated?
  • Do you think there's enough evidence offered? Is the coverage comprehensive? (As you learn more and more about your topic, you will notice that this gets easier as you become more of an expert.)
  • Is the language objective or emotional?
  • Are there broad generalizations that overstate or oversimplify the matter?
  • Does the author use a good mix of primary and secondary sources for information?
  • If the source is opinion, does the author offer sound reasons for adopting that stance? (Consider again those questions about the author. Is this person reputable?)
  • Check for accuracy.
  • How timely is the source? Is the source twenty years out of date? Some information becomes dated when new research is available, but other older sources of information can be quite sound fifty or a hundred years later.
  • Do some cross-checking. Can you find some of the same information given elsewhere?
  • How credible is the author? If the document is anonymous, what do you know about the organization?
  • Are there vague or sweeping generalizations that aren't backed up with evidence?
  • Are arguments very one-sided with no acknowledgement of other viewpoints?
(many thanks to the authors of this list, Dana Lynn Driscoll & Allen Brizee)
Writing
More assistance coming soon! 
Writing guides from DePaul University
DePaul University's Center for Writing-based Learning offers several really good tutorials on the writing process. These summaries from DePaul staff and faculty are useful to read through before beginning a new writing project. Each tutorial is focused on a particular type of project.

Writing a Scholarly Review, from Jessica B.
Writing a Literature Review, from Matt R.
Writing a Research Paper, from Marianne K. and Katie W.
Writing a Literary Analysis, from Jennifer F. and Mike M.
Writing Philosophical or Religious Exegesis, from Zac B.
 
Bibliography Building Tools
The Learning Commons provides access to the NoodleTools bibliography tool, which can be accessed here: NoodleTools

NoodleTools is only available to you when you are a student at CTS. After graduation, your access to your data will be shut off. If you would like to use a free bibliography, we recommend you begin now by using Zotero , a free tool from the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University.
Key Websites for Citation Help
Purdue OWL  offers writers a basic guide to citing in the style of the Chicago Manual of Style.
Chicago Manual of Style Online  is available to all current students, faculty, and staff.
Turabian quick guide  from the University of Chicago Press is a quick outline of how a citation should look in Turabian.
How to avoid plagiarism
The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) offers a great resource on how to avoid plagiarism. Click here to read it.
Interlibrary Loan Policy
All students can request interlibrary loans of articles and chapters of books. Requests can be made inside of some of our search tools as well as directly by emailing library@ctschicago.edu. Typically, this service is free of charge. A significant amount of requests may lead the Learning Commons to begin charging fees.

Interlibrary loan of entire books is only offered to students in the Chicago area. Students outside of Chicago are encouraged to begin by looking to their local public library. If your local public library does not offer interlibrary loan services, please email the Learning Commons a letter from the local library confirming that ILL is unavailable to you. The Learning Commons will only then offer ILL of entire books to students away from Chicago.

If there’s a particular book you want but can’t find it in our catalog or it’s currently checked out, you are always welcome to email us at library@ctschicago.edu for interlibrary loan. One caveat to this: students who are not in the Chicago area should utilize their local public library for interlibrary loan of entire books. The reason we don’t provide ILL of physical books to students outside of the Chicago area is because the turn-around time means you may have the book for three or four days before it’s due to be returned back to us so we can return it to the lending library on time. If your local public library doesn’t offer any interlibrary loan services, and you can provide us with an email from the local librarian stating they don’t provide ILL. In those instances, we will offer you ILL book delivery away from Chicago.

Any student, in Chicago or far away, can request an interlibrary loan of a book chapter or journal article. Requests can be made the same way as book requests.
Book Search
Journal Finder