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Getting Started with Research at Shapiro Library

This guide discusses understanding information sources, formulating a topic and search phrase, where and how to search the library for information, how to evaluate sources, how to cite sources, and more.

Tutoring, Tips, & Tools


The Wolak Learning Center (UC) or Online Writing Center (COCE) provides tutoring services to SNHU students:

Undergraduate Day (UC) Students:

The Wolak Learning Center provides all undergraduate day students with a variety of services including peer tutoring and walk-in tutoring. Visit them on the second floor of the Wolak Library Learning Commons or contact them at 603.645.9606

Online and Evening (COCE) Students:

All SNHU students, including online and evening students, enrolled in a writing intensive class may use SmarThinking--a free online tutoring service. COCE students can also access the Online Writing Center (OWC) for a number of writing resources. Contact them at

Still Need Help? Ask a Librarian!

Glossary of Library Terms

Use this glossary of common library terms to familiarize yourself with some of the words and phrases you may hear or see while searching in library resources or speaking with a librarian. For a more extensive glossary, check out Library Lingo from Colorado State University.

Boolean Operators Words like AND, OR, and NOT which are used in database searches to help narrow down or broaden search results. For more information on Boolean Operators and Boolean Searching (that is, searching using Boolean Operators), click here for more information.
Call Number A series of numbers and letters that are assigned to each library material. Call numbers are used to organize and categorize library materials so that materials on similar topics will be found near each other on the shelves. For more information on call numbers, click here.
Citation The basic information about a material such as title, author, publisher, etc.
Database A collection of sources available and search-able online. Databases can include journals, ebooks, reviews, government documents, and more. Some databases are very subject specific (they only include sources about one or two subjects) while others can be very broad (they include sources about a number or all subjects). Click here to view the A - Z Database List.
Full Text The entire article or material.
InterLibrary Loan A service whereby patrons can request books, articles, and other materials from other libraries. For more information, check out the InterLibrary Loan page.
Journal A periodical which is usually more scholarly than a magazine. Journals may or may not be peer-reviewed.
Magazine A periodical which is less scholarly than a journal.
Online Book Catalog Shapiro Library's online system for helping patrons find books and other library materials. Specifically, the online book catalog helps patron's find materials that are physically owned by the library, but some electronic resources can be found using the online book catalog as well. Click here to view the Online Library Catalog.
Peer Reviewed Journals or other materials which have gone through a rigorous editorial process by subject experts. Journals or other materials which are peer-reviewed are scholarly. Click here for more information.
Primary Source An original material or first-hand account. Click here for more information.
Secondary Source A material which is once-removed from a primary source; a second-hand account or critique of an event or topic. Click here for more information.
Stacks The main bookshelves in the library.

Adapted from:
Lederer, N. (2013, July 23). Glossary of Library Terms. Colorado State University Libraries. Retrieved January 18, 2014, from

Still Need Help? Ask a Librarian!

Improving Your Reading Strategies/Skills

There are several ways you can improve your reading skills or strategy. The following list is some example ways you can improve your reading:

  • Take notes while reading
  • Try reading aloud
  • Re-read books and other materials to gain fluency
  • Try breaking your reading into small chunks
  • Connecting what you're reading to your real life
  • Get help from a tutor, peer, or adviser

One popular way to increase your reading comprehension and retention is by using the SQ4R strategy. S4R stands for: Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review, & Reflect.

This strategy involves readers Surveying the text, turning what you've read into Questions, Reading the answers to your questions, Reciting what you've read aloud, Reviewing what you've read, and Reflecting on what you've learned.

The library has several books and ebooks in our collection which can help answer your questions about improving your reading skills or strategy. Check out the books, web resources, and video below for more information.

Helpful Books from the Library:

Cover Image Unavailable

College Reading by Lee V. Kolzow; Jane Lehman
Call Number: Call Number: PE1122 .K63
ISBN: 013150052X
Publication Date: 1982-01-01

Cover Image Unavailable

Building Strategies for College Reading by Jane L. McGrath
Call Number: PE1122 .M268 1995
ISBN: 0130438944
Publication Date: 1994-12-01

To find more books and ebooks on improving your reading skills or strategy, please search the Online Library Catalog.

These web resources may be helpful if you need additional information about improving your reading skills or strategy. However, be sure to evaluate any sources you use--the Shapiro Library cannot vouch for the accuracy of information provided on external websites.

Still Need Help? Ask a Librarian!

Career Resources

The library provides access to a number of books, databases, and other resources to assist you in finding a career. Check out the links below or visit our Career Resources guide for more information.

More Information

InterLibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a free cooperative service between libraries that provides current SNHU students, staff, faculty, and faculty emeritus access to books, articles, and other materials that Shapiro Library does not own.

Please follow these steps to request a book, book chapter, or article the library does not own through InterLibrary Loan:

  1. Log in to your Interlibrary Loan account using your MySNHU username and password.
  2. If this is your first time using your Interlibrary Loan account, you will need to complete a short registration form. You only need to do this once.
  3. In the Interlibrary Loan Main Menu, choose the type of item you want to request: book, article, or book chapter. If your item is none of these, please use the "book" link.
  4. Fill out the request form with a clear citation. The more accurate the information you provide, the faster you will receive your item!
  5. Click "Submit Request." You're done! You will receive an email when your item arrives.

For more information, please view our Policies and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Still Have Questions? Email the InterLibrary Loan Department!

Tools for Taking Notes

Tools for taking notes can help you record, organize and manage notes for class and projects. Try one of the following tools for taking notes:

Still Need Help? Ask a Librarian!

Flash Card Makers

Flash card makers can help you organize and keep track of notes or presentation topics, study vocabulary, math, etc. and more. Try one of the following flash card makers:

Still Need Help? Ask a Librarian!

More Tools

Use the links below to find technology tools and other resources to use in presentations, group projects, and more:

Most tools and resources provided here are free or include a free trial. Those resources that require a fee before any use are marked by a Dollar Icon.

The intention of this page is to help SNHU students, faculty, and staff find tools and resources to help them in presentations, group projects, etc. Most tools and resources provided here have not been thoroughly tested or evaluated by a librarian--it is up to the student, faculty, or staff member to determine if tools and resources provided here are appropriate for academic use. Those resources that librarians have tested, evaluated, and recommend for use are marked by a Star Icon.

Looking for more tools or technology help? Contact Instructional Support Services or the Emerging Technology & Systems Librarian for more information.

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