Top 6 Study Tips for Final Exams

pressureThe pressure is on!  We’re in the midst of finals, when all your class readings, lecture notes, practice problems and studying will be distilled into a one to two-hour exam.  Test anxiety can significantly affect your performance on exams, so here are six study tips to help  you feel prepared and relaxed for your finals.desk

  1. Find an ideal study space:  You’ll want a space with all of the supplies you’ll need (you don’t want to spend time searching for index cards, a ruler, or whatever else you may need) and without distractions (your dorm room may not be the best choice if friends tend to drop in).

  3. Prioritize: Start with your most important tasks while you’re still fresh and can focus your attention.

  5. When reading, start at the end: Unless you’re reading a mystery or other fiction, start with the summary or conclusion and any study questions at the end of each chapter. This way you’ll know what important points you should focus on as you read.  You should also scan the chapter headings and bold-faced terms for the same reason.

  7. Think of possible exam questions: When you’re reviewing readings or lecture notes, try to formulate possible exam questions for each major point or idea.  This active engagement will help you remember the information when you’re asked a similar question during an exam.sleep

  9. Eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep: It may seem impossible when you have so much to do, but exercise helps reduce stress and depression, getting enough sleep will help you concentrate, and avoiding too much sugar or caffeine will help keep you from crashing after a brief burst of energy.

  11. Turn off your cell phone!  This may be the hardest but most important study habit, but it’s hard to study when no cell phonesyou’re texting.  If you’re using a computer, you may even want to turn off your wi-fi or internet connection so that you’re not tempted to watch the latest cat video.


Jill Spreitzer, Librarian Consultant

I’d Like You to Meet My Colleague…

emergingI’ll bet you think a library catalog is nothing but a list of selected materials available through the Library. Well, you’re kind of right. That’s the basic purpose of a library catalog. But there’s more to it than that.

You see, the library catalog is sort of like the LinkedIn for information. Each entry is for a specific book or journal or DVD or whatever else the library owns. You can glean more detail about it than you might ever need to know. But as LinkedIn provides links to other professionals in the field forming a network, so does the catalog by providing links to additional resources.

Let’s say that you are in the happy position of having a specific book to search for. (This is called “known item searching”, but let that pass for now.) You go to the Re:Search portal at , click the Books/ebooks + DVDs tab, booksand key in the title Emerging Perspectives On Substance Misuse.

This takes you to a page that gives a  description and additional information about the book. Why that happens is something for another blog post (got to give you a teaser for next time). What matters to you right now is that the title of your “known item” appears at the top of the page. In this example, the book is an electronic book so there’s a  Blue Gobutton you can click to read the book online. That was easy.

But one resource does not a research paper make. For that, you will need to consult some of the book’s professional colleagues specializing in the same field. By this I mean books on the same subject. You don’t have to do another search or two.  Just look for the Subjects. In this case the subjects are:


These are more formally called Subject headings. Each links to a large number of books which relate to the same subject as your known item. This helps you find additional relevant information on your topic. Subject headings are particularly important because all books on the same subjects have the same subject headings. If, for instance, you were to search for “substance misuse”, which is not a listed subject, you would get only a fraction of the information available had you used the subject heading links such as Substance Abuse. That’s what library catalogs are about these days, providing instant links to related information. So now you know. And you’ve also learned what “known item searching” is. Impress your friends. They may even think you’re a librarian.


David Moody, Librarian

Finding MLA and APA Templates in MS Word

You’ve done all the research, you’ve read all the articles.  Now you can begin writing your paper.  But wait, first you must figure out how to format your paper in the MLA or APA style.  OWL at Purdue provides  guidelines but wouldn’t it be nice if there was a template where you could just type in your paper?

Well there is! And here’s how you do it:

First open MS Word and click NEW.

Word New

Type either MLA or APA and click the magnifying glass.  Then click the template needed:

Word Templates

For example, this template appears for APA:Word running head

Now, just start typing your paper using the guidelines provided by the template.  It’s as easy as that!

Sue Homant

Librarian Consultant

Finding Copyright Free Images

Creating a PowerPoint presentation for a classroom project?  Adding pictures can make a slide POP!  Because it can be so easy to find images on the internet, are you thinking of grabbing one and putting it onto a slide?  Be careful.  Most pictures or images are copyrighted.  There are several websites where the images may be freely copied without seeking permission to use. However, you should still cite the original creator according to the style preferred, such as APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.

Detroit Sculptures by LadyDragonflyCC ->;< is licensed under CC by 2.0

Detroit Sculptures by LadyDragonflyCC ->;< is licensed under CC by 2.0

Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online – all images are in the public domain

Creative Commons – nonprofit organization “that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools.”

Flickr – offers images under Creative Commons or the images will be labeled “all rights reserved.” Make sure the images you select are licensed in CC.

Google Copyright Free Images — In Google, type the image you need, click Images, click Search Tools, click Usage rights.  Now click Labeled for noncommercial reuse with modification.

Internet Archive Book Images – Find copyright free images.  The images range from 1500 through 1922 and include journalistic photographs, charts, portraits, headlines, maps, decorative images, drawings and editorial cartoons.

Wikimedia Commons –It is a database of  freely usable media files to which anyone may contribute. Includes sounds and video.

Again, be sure to always cite images that someone else has created.

By Sue Homant, Librarian Consultant



Don’t Stress Over Citations!

Drummer Boy MilitaryI hope by now that it’s been drummed into your heads, the need to properly document where, and how you found the information that you’re using within your papers. If it’s not common knowledge, and is not of your own creation; i.e. the words and ideas are those of another person, or organization, then you need to give proper credit. Citing where those words and ideas originally came from, where they were published, what journal, magazine, or website, can often seem like a daunting task. But, rest assured, the staff of the library are here to help.

If you’re getting into some deep research, or maybe you just want a powerful tool that can help keep track of your sources and create entire bibliographies, then check out RefWorks. RefWorks is a web-based database and bibliography creator. RefWorks users can import references from online databases and use these references in writing their papers and automatically format the bibliography and paper in seconds. When signing up for your individual account, you will need to use your UDM email address and the following group code: RWUDetroitMer. It might be worth your time to check out some of the available tutorials.

You might be thinking to yourself, “That’s great! But, I don’t really need all that.” So…maybe you just want something that can help generate correct citations in the format of your choice. Then try out one of these:

Lastly, you can Ask A Librarian. But please, please don’t consider your friendly librarian the last resort! Librarians can be invaluable in helping you find resources, and in helping you document those sources. Good luck and hope to see you at the reference desk.


headlinesVote_470322_7Did you know there’s an election coming up?  Hard to miss if you’ve been online, watched TV, listened to the radio or used email in the past month.  Election Day is Tuesday November 4 across the United States.  Even though we’re not electing a new president, it’s a very important election.  The entire US Congress is up for election and one third of the US Senate. Michigan voters will be choosing a governor,  members of the Michigan Supreme Court.  And there are state university boards to vote for and state ballot initiatives and maybe local proposals, depending on where  you live


Yes, sounds like a lot to learn and there’s no shortage of info out there.  But it’s important to look at everything critically; make sure you’re getting the most impartial info available.

The State of Michigan Voter Information Center is a good place to start. You can find out if you’re registered to vote; hope so, because in Michigan that must be done 30 days before the election.   You can also find out where to go to vote and  you see the ballot that you’ll be faced with in the booth.

If that makes you want to learn more — always a good idea — check out VoteSmart where you can look up a candidate by name or search by zip code to find what offices and issues.

An interesting section of VoteSmart is called Vote Easy  

Find your political soul mate.

Based on your response to questions on several issues [healthcare, national security, etc.] VoteSmart will tell you which candidates in your area most agree with your positions.


Another no nonsense site  from the League of Women Voters, a group that has been providing objective information on elections since the 1920s..
 is a project of the Annenberg  Public Policy Center, “monitors the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases.”  Sort of a for politics.


FiveThirtyEight  One of the original sites using data and projections models to develop statistical odds of election outcomes.  In 2008 famously  forecasted 49 of the 50 state outcomes for the presidential election and correctly projected all 35 US Senate races.   Now run by ESPN, it has branched out from politics, but still covers elections as its main focus.  If you like numbers, this is the site for you.   [538 is the total numbers in the electoral college]




Lots of data, polls reported on races all over the country and on issues.  Real Clear Politics is supported by advertising and includes links to news articles, so some of the content needs to be read with a particularly  critical eye, there is still a lot of good factual reporting here.




There’s more, but this will get you started toward making you an informed citizen and voter ready to enter the voting booth knowing what’s going on and what you think about it all.

Drop In On RefWorks

It’s grueling, tedious and time-consuming. I’m referring to typing research papers and getting the in-text citations right and then typing the bibliography at the end with all that confusing formatting. Well, not anymore. UDM Libraries has a tool that makes the formatting of your citations oh so easy and its called RefWorks. This week, Thursday, October 23, Librarian Sue Homant will be offering a drop-in workshop on RefWorks here in the library from 12:45-2:00. RefWorks can be a powerful tool when you are doing a research paper. Here is just a taste of what RefWorks can do.

Using Refworks begins with signing up for a new account. Go to the library portal page Click on the third tab, Articles, Journals + Databases. Under Find databases by title, you will see the alphabet listed. Select the letter R. RefWorks is second on the list. Click into it and click sign up.

As you do your research and find articles in the library databases, use the export feature found in most databases to load the citations into your RefWorks account. It is also possible to attach the articles to the citations in RefWorks When you have completed your research, make sure all the citations of the articles you will be using in your paper have been loaded into RefWorks. When you are ready to begin typing your paper, go into your RefWorks account, click on Tools tools and download Write-N-Cite 4.  Upon successful completion of the download, you should see this at the top of the screen in Microsoft Word. Write Cite






Click on RefWorks then click on Log In and enter your RefWorks account and password. You will also enter UDM’s Group Code, which can be obtained from the Research and Information Desk.

Once you have logged in, set your style choice (MLA, APA, etc.) style









While typing your paper, click on the Insert Citation icon insert  and select a citation each time you want to cite a source within the text of the paper . Continue typing and entering the citations as you go by clicking on the Insert Citation icon. RefWorks will put the citation in the text of the paper in the format style you selected.

When you have finished typing your paper and have entered all the citations within the body of the paper you will be ready for RefWorks to create your bibliography page. Place your cursor where you want the bibliography to begin. Click on Bibliography Options. Then click Insert Bibliography. bib opts Your bibliography will be created in the format style you selected. What would take you hours to do RefWorks does instantly!

Drop by Thursday and learn how to make citing fast and easy.

Julia Eisenstein, Librarian

Great Reads – from Business

In the 1967 movie The Graduate Mr. McGuire says to the Dustin Hoffman’s character, a recent college graduate, “I want to say one word Benjamin, just one word … It’s plastics”.  Today, he might well have said “Two words Benjamin,  business information.”  Michael Bloomberg, the former Mayor of New York and founder of Bloomberg, a private company that specialized in data, media, software analytics, and stock trading platforms (terminals) sells information, data.  Bloomberg’s billions are built on information, business information.

Bloomberg supplies business, financial and economic news.  It’s comes as no surprise that they collect data on global stocks, currency, companies, but what may be a little surprising is they also supply data on sports: baseball, soccer, etc.  Bloomberg collects data on baseball.  24 of the 27  major league teams subscribe to the data.  Baseball managers use the data: the data will tell you of sportsanalyticswhich four pitches Justin Verlander throws: fastball, curveball, change up, or slider he most likely to throw as a first pitch against a given player.  Like stock traders and hedge funds managers that use data to improve the odds in the market, baseball managers use the data to improve the odds of winning games.

Not long ago sixty minutes did a profile of a MBA student from Notre Dame University, who successfully gambles in the fantasy baseball leagues using algorithms he developed with sports data.

This fall you will see a number of books added to our collection on sabermetrics: this is the term for the empirical analysis of baseball, especially baseball statistics that measure in-game activity.

Some of the most interesting reading comes directly from the pages of the Wall Street Journal.  There are many recognizable plots in thrillers that seem if they are scooped directly from the WSJ.  Some business books can read like thrillers, and some are just plain fascinating.

The Quants: Scott Patterson.  In March 2006, the world’s richest men sipped champagne in an opulent Nequantsw York hotel. They were preparing to compete in a poker tournament with million-dollar stakes. At the card table that night was Peter Muller, who managed a fabulously successful hedge fund called PDT. With him was Ken Griffin, who was the tough-as-nails head of Citadel Investment Group. There, too, were Cliff Asness, the sharp-tongued, mercurial founder of the hedge fund AQR Capital Management, and Boaz Weinstein, chess “life master” and king of the credit-default swap.   Muller, Griffin, Asness, and Weinstein were among the best and brightest of a new breed, the quants. Over the past twenty years, this species of  math whiz had usurped the testosterone-fueled, kill-or-be-killed risk takers who’d long been the alpha males of the world’s largest casino. The quants believed that a cocktail of differential calculus, quantum physics, and advanced geometry held the key to reaping riches from the financial markets. And they helped create a digitized money-trading machine that could shift billions around the globe with the click of a mouse. Few realized that night, though, that in creating this extraordinary system, men like Muller, Griffin, Asness, and Weinstein had sown the seeds for history’s greatest financial disaster.

 Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg.  The vast majority of leadership positions in government and industry. This means that women’s voices are still not heard equally in the decisions that most affect our lives. In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg examines why women’s progress in achieving leadership roles has stalled, explains the  root causes, and offers compelling, commonsense solutions that can empower women to achieve their full potential. Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook and is ranked on Fortune ‘s list of the 50  Most Powerful Women in Business and as one of Time ‘s 100 Most Influential People in the World. In 2010, she gave an electrifying TED Talk in which she described how women unintentionally hold themselves  back in their careers. Her talk, which became a phenomenon and has been  viewed more than two million times, encouraged women to “sit at the table,” seek challenges, take risks, and pursue their goals with gusto.  In Lean In, Sandberg digs deeper into these leaninissues, combining personal anecdotes, hard data, and compelling research to cut through the layers of ambiguity and bias surrounding the lives and choices of working women. She recounts her own decisions, mistakes, and daily struggles to make the right choices for herself, her career, and her family. She  provides practical advice on negotiation techniques, mentorship, and building a satisfying career, urging women to set boundaries and to abandon the myth of “having it all.” She describes specific steps women can take to combine professional achievement with personal fulfillment and demonstrates how men can benefit by supporting women in the workplace and at home. Written with both humor and wisdom, Sandberg’sflashboys book is an inspiring call to action and a blueprint for individual growth. Lean In is destined to change the conversation from what women can’t do to what they can.

Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt by Michael Lewis, Flash Boys is about a small group of Wall Street guys who figure out that the U.S. stock market has been rigged for the benefit of insiders and that, post-financial crisis, the markets have become not more free but less, and more controlled by the big Wall Street banks. Working at different firms, they come to this realization separately; but after they discover one another, the flash boys band together and set out to reform the financial markets. This they do by creating an exchange in which high-frequency trading–source of the most intractable problems–will have no advantage whatsoever.The characters in Flash Boys are fabulous, each completely different from what you think of when you think “Wall Street guy.” Several have walked away from jobs in the financial sector that paid them millions of dollars a year. From their new vantage point they investigate the big banks, the world’s stock exchanges, and high-frequency trading firms as they have never been investigated, and expose the many strange new ways that Wall Street generates profits.The light that Lewis shines into the darkest corners of the financial world may not be good for your blood pressure, because if you have any contact with the market, even a retirement account, this story is happening to you. But in the end, Flash Boys is an uplifting read. Here are people who have somehow preserved a moral sense in an environment where you don’t get paid for that; they have perceived an institutionalized injustice and are willing to go to war to fix it.


The New York Times – Historical Edition

NYT - titanicExtra! Extra! Read All About It!  The New York Times is now available online!  Don’t miss out!

Need to write a speech on an event that happened on your birth date? Explore over 150 years of breaking news stories from the renowned New York Times.  Read about the sinking of the Titanic, where more than 1,500 people perished in the icy waters of the North Atlantic Ocean on April 15, 1912.

Or if sports is more your thing, read about the New York Yankees 5-3 win oNYT - World Seriesver the Brooklyn Dodgers in the first World Series game ever broadcast on television on September 30, 1947. This event was so ground breaking a judge stopped a trial for jurors to watch it on TV.

Whether you’re looking for a specific event or just want to browse, The New York Times: Historical Newspapers (ProQuest) has it all, from the very first issue printed in 1851 all the way to 2010.  Articles are in PDF so you can view them as they originally appeared.  Just select the link from the library’s database page and have fun exploring!

For more current articles, be sure to search The New York Times (Gale) from 1985-present.


Sandra Wilson – Librarian Consultant

Nursing Streaming Video Database – MedCom/Trainex

MedCom logo MedCom/Trainex is a resource for streaming videos for nursing. There are over 250 videos to choose from in a variety of subject areas: airway management, anatomy and physiology, gerontology, infection control, and much more.

This resource also contains “extra” content:

  • course overviews
  • post tests
  • learning activities
  • suggested readings

You must create an account and set up a password, then log in to your account whenever you want to watch a video.

MedCom log in page editted

Access to the MedCom/Trainex streaming video database can be found in the databases list under “N” (Nursing Videos) and from the UDM nursing library guide comprehensive database list. Videos can be streamed from off campus.

Jill Turner, Librarian


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