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Events
  • Otis Books is pleased to publish Tim Erickson’s debut collection of poetry, Egopolis, a textual journey through destruction, resistance, city, and the Ego, from ancient times to the present day. Erickson’s work has appeared in the Chicago Review, Western Humanities Review, and the Salt Anthology of New Writing. He lives in Salt Lake City.

  • Otis Graduate Writing students will read from their works-in-progress.

  • Exquisite Beauty is the first retrospective and publication to document the eye-dazzling ceramics created by Ralph Bacerra (1938–2008), a Los Angeles–based artist known for his innovative approach to surface embellishment. Curated by Jo Lauria, the exhibition features more than ninety of the artist’s finest pieces—dramatic, highly decorated vessels and sculptures that have never before been the focus of a major exhibition or publication.

  • Opening Reception for Ralph Bacerra: Exquisite Beauty

  • David Treuer is an Ojibwe Indian from Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota and currently teaches at USC. He is the author of the novels Little, The Hiawatha, The Translation of Dr. Apelles, named a Best Book of the Year by the Washington Post, as well as a critical work, Native American Fiction: A User's Manual. In 2012, he published another nonfiction work, Rez Life.

  • Angela Flournoy’s first novel The Turner House was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. Her fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, and she has written for The New Republic, The Los Angeles Review of Books and elsewhere. Flournoy has taught at the University of Iowa and Trinity Washington University. She lives in Los Angeles.

  • Susan Choi’s first novel, The Foreign Student, won the Asian-American Literary Award for fiction, and her second novel, American Woman, was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize. Her most recent novel, A Person of Interest, was a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award. With David Remnick she co-edited the anthology Wonderful Town: New York Stories from The New Yorker. A recipient of fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation, and in 2010, the inaugural winner of the PEN/W.G. Sebald Award, Choi lives in Brooklyn.

O-Tube

Cultural Studies

Step 1:

If you need to learn the basics of research, visit the Research HowTos section for tutorials covering various aspects of using the Otis library and research tools.

Step 2:

One place to begin your research is to get a broad overview of of your topic. Try one of Otis's online subscription encyclopedias or dictionaries such as the Oxford English Dictionary or World Folklore and Folklife. Just finding the history or origins or words like tattoo or Eucharist could generate many ideas for projects. Note: You will need to think of alternative terms for your subject. For instance, when you don't find lowriders, try  low ridersautomobileshot rods, or  car culture.

Sometimes you may have to turn to actual books for the best information. You might be pleasantly surprised to discover a wealth of valuable, reliable, and academically-oriented material there. Here are four specialized encyclopedias to get you started:

Located in the Reference Section

GR
550
A77
 
Folk and Fairy Tales: A Handbook 
GR
35
F63
 
Folklore: An Encyclopedia of Beliefs, Customs, Tales, Music, and Art
GT
4803
F65
 
Folklore of American Holidays
E
169.1
H2643
 
Handbook of American Popular Culture
E
184
A1
G14
 
Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America
BL
304
D577
 
Myth: A Handbook

Step 3:

Definitely try the OPAC (Library Catalog). Do a keyword search first to get an overview of what books are in the Otis Library, if any. Use only one word at a time and then try different searches using synonyms or related words. Through the OPAC, you may also discover alternate terms that you can use in searching other larger databases.

Step 4:

Find a journal article or two. Start with OmniFile. It's a new database at Otis and has full-text for thousands of magazines and journals covering the area of folklore among other areas. Try a keyword search. If you get too many hits, limit the results to a subject search. Some of your results will be bibliographic citations to journals that Otis Library does not carry. If you want to check our holdings click on this link to the Magazine Holdings List. If Otis doesn't have it, you may be able to find it through another library. If you want to limit your results to only those results for which the full-text is available online, there is a button for that function on the top of the Wilson Omni results page.

Check out the Databases page for more resources.

Step 5:

Search for a content-rich academic/educational websites. Pages ending in .org or .edu may be the best ones, but make sure the author is not a student doing a class assignment or that the page is not simply a course syllabus.

Unless you know exactly what you want to find and are clear on synonyms and alternative terms, you may want to try a directory like ipl2. As search engines go, this is an extremely tiny one. However, each website listed has been carefully selected and reviewed. You'll retrieve the best of the web with the infomercials and junk will be filtered out. Another good directory to scholarly web resources is Infomine. Check out our page on other search engines.

Put in a very broad term like folklore or myth or popular culture. You'll probably get several websites which may, in fact, be free databases that you can browse for ideas. It's a fascinating, but focused way to learn about subjects new to you.

Step 6:

Your instructors will ask that you create a bibliography using the Chicago or MLA Style. Here's a page that covers citing: Citing Sources. Be aware that citing web sources and online databases requires you to indicate the date you accessed it and the name of the provider of the database.

Also, paste your paper into Grammarly.It wiill help you to make sure nothing is plagiarized.

Remember: Librarians are your friends. Ask for reference assistance at any time...