searching

The CAPS sections of the Old Testament History and Literature class (BIBL 1103) have a question on their final exam that we frequently get questions about. The question is:

How has archeological study of Biblical lands confirmed the veracity of Scriptures and enhanced their study?

Students may give you the question verbatim, or paraphrase it into something that mentions archaeology, the Bible, and/or truth. Make sure to do a reference interview and verify that the student is working on the final exam question above.

The instructions for the final are as follows:

This final assignment requires that you answer the following questions. Remember to utilize and properly cite at least two journals from Northwest University’s online library resources. You must cite two Northwest Library online academic journals to receive a full “A” on the final.

The syllabus encourages students to use the ATLA database to find sources for the final exam, but we may still get questions from students who did not read the directions carefully and/or who are very unfamiliar with the library website.

For this assignment, the Religion article search (main search box –> Subjects tab –> Religion) or the ATLA database are both good resources for the students to use. A good search statement to suggest is:

“old testament” AND archaeolog* AND evidence 

Explain to the student that putting the quotation marks around “Old Testament” will search for it as an exact phrase, and putting the asterisk after archaeolog* will search for not just “archaeology” but “archaeological” as well.

Also, students may not know the difference between journals and articles, so you might have to explain that the search results they get are individual articles within issues of various Bible/religion journals.

Another question on the final that library staff have been asked for help with is:

Discuss the importance of God’s lovingkindness (Hebrew: “chesed”, translated “love” in NIV) as it relates to the covenant. (Ex 34:6; Nu 14:18; Ps 86:5; Joel 2:13 & Jon 4:2 may warm up your thinking)

ATLA transliterates the Hebrew word as hesed (not “chesed”), so let the student know that doing a keyword search for hesed should give them some useful results.

If the students need further help, have them contact Clayton (clayton.visker@northwestu.edu).

The Gale Virtual Reference Library is known as NU Reference when using the main search box on the library website.

When searching NU Reference, make sure to use the Boolean operator AND when looking for multiple concepts in order to get the most relevant search results.

Example topic: Lactose intolerance in children

< lactose intolerance children > – The most useful article for this topic appears at the end of the search results.

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GVRL - Lactose Intolerance

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< lactose intolerance AND children > – The most useful article now appears first in the search results.

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GVRL - Lactose Intolerance with AND

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Another method is to start broad and then use the “Search within results” function to narrow down the search.

Example topic: Lactose intolerance in children

Initial search: < lactose intolerance >

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GVRL - Lactose Intolerance only

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Then use the “Search within results” box on the left side of the page to search for < children >. The most useful article appears first in the updated search results.

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GVRL - Lactose Intolerance search within results Children

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