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Virtual Library Orientation Archive

An orientation to FCC's library resources via a virtual platform


Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL) is an online collection of subject encyclopedias. Subject encyclopedias are reference materials that are full of entries relevant to the broad topic of the encyclopedia. For example, The Gale Encyclopedia of Psychology contains entries relevant to psychology and all of the entries within that encyclopedia will somehow relate to psychology. Subject encyclopedias are topically constrained, thus the Gale Encyclopedia of Psychology is not going to contain information about geometry, or business ethics. 

Gale Virtual Reference Library is a great resource for:

  • Defining core concepts and ideas for a topic
    Subject encyclopedias are full of definitions and descriptions of core concepts that are relevant to their topic. 

  • Establishing the basic facts of a topic
    Because subject encyclopedias are written for the purpose of providing a point of entry into a subject area or topic, they are great places to look for basic facts for the topic of your paper.

The link below will open a step-by-step tutorial for using Gale Virtual Reference Library in a new browser tab. Directions for what to do and how to proceed are provided in the tutorial.

CQ Researcher

CQ Researcher started as a service that provided easy to read, yet informative, reports to members of congress so they could quickly familiarize themselves with social and political issues that may come up during a legislative session. The tradition of creating informative, well researched, and easy to read reports has made CQ Researcher an invaluable resource for doing background research about social issues. While doing background research, CQ Researcher is best suited for:

  • Establishing the basic facts of a topic
    CQ Researcher's reports do an excellent job of summarizing issues in a concise and fair fashion. Moreover, most reports contain some discussion of statistics as they pertain to the issue - which can serve as a vital element when writing about your topic.
  • Providing critical context and history for a topic 
    Reports contain robust pro and con discussions, chronologies, and extensive lists of cited references.

The link below will open a step-by-step tutorial for using CQ Researcher in a new browser tab. Directions for what to do and how to proceed are provided in the tutorial.

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