Book Search: Back to School Edition

Thursday, September 27, 2007 at 5:15 PM

It's that time of year again: students have started school and are beginning to wonder how they'll survive. I always found the transition from months of sunshine and freedom to the reality of another academic year difficult. When I left home for college, I often wished I had a mentor to give me tips for handling everything. So it's great to work on Book Search and be able to say, "Hey, guys -- we can help."

It makes my day when students write to tell us how Book Search has helped them with research. You can use it in lots of different ways. One student told us that he found books on the civil rights movement that he wouldn't have found otherwise, making his research "10 times" faster (whoa!). Another student was halfway through her dissertation before she realized she'd cited a particular book several times, but had forgotten to put down the exact page numbers for her bibliography. She typed her quotes into Book Search and quickly discovered which pages they came from.

Google Scholar can also help. It allows you to search all kinds of journals and other scholarly materials, and if your university library is participating in the Library Links program, you'll be able to see whether it has what you need on the shelves.

Of course, college life has plenty of challenges beyond research. To help you out with that, I did my own investigation in Book Search and found some books you might want to check out.

In college, preparation is often the key to success. Here are books with information on majors, TOEFL preparation, and law and medical exams.

College can also be stressful for parents. My first day of college was an enthralling experience, but the excitement made me a little queasy -- I got stomach aches. For my parents, it was more of a mind-bender: they were confronting the fact that I had grown up, perhaps more than they thought. Letting Go: A Parents' Guide to Understanding the College Years is a book that parents might find useful for the transition.

And then there are the urban legends surrounding college, which some people find scary. Personally, I think they're just an expression of the natural anxiety that surrounds the profound changes you experience in college. Ultimately, you learn so much from what you go through -- especially if you're lucky enough to broaden your experiences even more by studying in a foreign country. If you're exploring the idea of studying abroad, here’s a comprehensive guide that covers all the aspects of the process.

I hope this post was useful to you -- and I wish you all the best in the year ahead!


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