Choosing a topic
When choosing a topic for your research paper, think about the following:
- Unless your instructor assigns a topic, try to select a topic that interests you.
- Make sure your topic is not too broad, or too narrow. You will find too much information when searching for a broad topic; and not enough information when searching for a narrow topic.
- If you already have a general topic, try searching the library's catalog or the library's databases for ideas on how to narrow that topic down.
- Visit the library's Reference Desk and request to view the following book: 10,000 ideas for term papers, projects, reports and speeches: Intriguing, original research topics for every student's need.
- For current events and issues in the news, try searching the library's database: CQ Researcher.
- For debatable or controversial issues, ask one of the librarians about the Opposing Viewpoints Series, the Taking Sides Series, Issues in Focus Series and/or the Current Controversies Series.
- Visit the Social Issues Research Guide. There you will find a list of current social issues to choose from.
Videos and Series titles
The Career Education films listed below are available in DVD format or as an online streaming video. To view a film online, click the title below or visit the library’s homepage at http://library.raritanval.edu. From the Databases page, select Films on Demand to view the list of films available.
- Career and Life Values
- Common Mistakes People Make in Interviews
- Finding a Job
- Log On for Success: Using Internet Job Sites
- Mapping Your Career Plan
- Personality and Interests
- Professional Image
- Ten Commandments of Resumes
- Your First Resume and Interview
Career Opportunities in… and Careers in Focus are two series of books containing information on careers in specific fields, such as business, computers, health care, etc.
Search the library catalog for either of these titles to see specific books and call numbers.
Books will provide an excellent starting point for your research in the field of Careers. Reference books often give you background information and a general overview on your topic so that you can proceed with greater understanding to a more detailed treatment of your subject in other books and periodicals. Reference books may include specialized dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, almanacs, atlases and/or statistical reports. The librarian at the Reference Desk can help in locating an appropriate source. Listed below are the titles and call numbers of some of the Careers books in the library's reference collection. The reference collection is located on the main level of the library. Books with a location of Reference cannot be checked out of the library. The Circulating Collection is on the second floor of the library. Books with a location of Circulating may be checked out.
To search the Catalog for a book, click on it's callnumber below.
Career Profiles and Descriptions
|America's top 100 jobs for people without a four-year degree: gr...||Reference||HF5382.75.U6 K716 2005|
|Encyclopedia of Careers and Vocational Guidance||Reference||HF5381.E52 2005|
|Exploring Health Care Careers||Reference||R690.E97 2006|
|Peterson's Liberal Arts Jobs||Reference||HF5382.5.U5 N25|
Guides to Resources and Strategies
|What Color is Your Parachute||Reference||HF5383.B56|
Job Markets and Salaries
|American Salaries and Wages Survey||Reference||HD4973.A67|
|Best Jobs for the 21st Century||Reference||HF5381.15.F37 2001|
|The College Majors Handbook: The Actual Jobs, Earning, and Trend...||Reference||HF5382.5.U5 F644 2004|
The library catalog is used to locate books both at RVCC, as well as from other libraries in the Somerset County Library System. Books will provide in-depth information not found in reference sources.
- Start with a Keyword search. Once you find one or two books about your topic, check the book's record to see what Subjects are being used. Once you find the appropriate Subject Heading, repeat your search using those headings. Generally, the results from a Subject search will always be more accurate than the results from a Keyword search.
- If you know the title of the book you are looking for, do a Title search.
- If you are looking for a book with a specific author, do an Author search (last name first).
Suggested Subject Headings for Careers:
Click a subject heading below to use it as the search term for a Subject Search in the catalog.
- (any career field) – Vocational guidance
- Accounting – Vocational guidance
- Business – Vocational guidance
- Career changes
- Career development
- Cover letters
- Employment interviewing
- Job descriptions
- Job hunting
- Job Satisfaction
- Nursing – Vocational guidance
- Occupations – United States
- Personality and occupation
- Resumes (Employment)
- Vocational guidance
- Vocational qualifications
Consult with the reference librarian to find the term best suited to your needs.
Browse the Collection:
Most of the books can be found in the following areas:
- HD4909-5100.9 -- Wages
- HD5701-6000.9 -- Labor market. Labor supply. Labor demand.
- HF5381-5386 -- Vocational guidance. Career development.
- LC1037–1037.8 -- Career education
- LC1041–1048 -- Vocational education
All of the library's circulating books are located on the upper level of the library.
For additional library catalogs, including libraries in Hunterdon and Middlesex counties, consult the Additional Library Catalogs page. If you find a book in one of these catalogs that the library does not own, request the book using the library's Interlibrary Loan Service.
Research Databases - Finding Articles
The Evelyn S. Field Library has access to thousands of periodicals. (Periodicals can be magazines, scholarly journals, or newspapers.) Some periodicals are in the library's print (or hard copy) collection. However, the majority of periodicals are available in the Research Databases. These databases provide access to articles. This information is generally more current than material found in books.
Search for periodical articles on Careers using the databases listed below. They can be accessed from the Library Database Page. (If you are using these databases from an off-campus location, you will be asked to identify yourself by logging in with your Username and Password. This is the same login you use on campus. The Research Databases are available only to registered RVCC students.)
- Ferguson's Career Guidance Center
This database is the online equivalent of the 4-volume Encyclopedia of Careers and Vocational Guidance published by Ferguson. It contains detailed information on more than 2,000 jobs in 93 industries.
After finding an article on your research topic, the database will either provide a citation and summary of the article, or it will provide the full-text (the complete article). If you are only given a citation and summary of the article, you can check the Periodical Locator to determine if the periodical you are looking for is available in another database. (The Periodical Locator is an alphabetical list of all the journals the library has access to. Feel free to talk with a librarian for assistance.) If the article is not available in any of the library's research databases, request the article using the library's Interlibrary Loan Service.
If, for your assignment, you are required to have sources from scholarly journals, use the Identifying Scholarly Articles guide to help you determine if your source is a magazine article or a scholarly article.
- America’s Career InfoNet
Source: Career OneStop -- In line with the Department of Labor's vision for America's Labor Market Information System, CareerOneStop is a collection of electronic tools, operating as a federal-state partnership, and funded by grants to states.
- Career Management News, Job Hunting Advice & Salary News
Source: The Wall Street Journal -- The site's job database offers more than 100,000 listings, with opportunities from local and national newspaper, magazine and TV station web sites across the U.S. Editorial features include help with resume writing, interviewing, networking and negotiating a new job offer, as well as in-depth guidance on improving your current career.
- National Career Development Association
Source: National Career Development Association -- Select the Resources tab for a listing of internet sites for career planning and career self assessment sites
- New Jersey Job Vacancy Announcements
Source: NJ Dept. of Personnel -- Searchable database of job announcements for state, county and municipal government jobs in New Jersey
- NJ’s Best Local Jobs
Source: New Jersey On-Line -- A comprehensive website to search for jobs in NJ. NJ.com searches job listings from many NJ newspapers and other sources.
- O*Net Online
Source: U.S. Department of Labor -- Find occupations with keywords or by browsing Job Families, or supply a list of your skills to find matching occupations.
- Occupational Outlook Handbook Online
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics -- The Occupational Outlook Handbook is a nationally recognized source of career information, designed to provide valuable assistance to individuals making decisions about their future work lives. Revised every two years, the Handbook describes what workers do on the job, working conditions, the training and education needed, earnings, and expected job prospects in a wide range of occupations.
- Call or visit the Reference Desk to speak to one of the librarians. The Reference Desk is located on the main floor of the library. The phone number is 908-526-1200 x8350.
- Email your question to one of the librarians using the Ask-A-Librarian Service.
- For further information about this guide, please contact Megan Dempsey
Last Updated - 16 December 2008