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FSS125 - First Semester Seminar: Spring 2020

Library Tools


What is TOPCAT?

TOPCAT is our library catalog. You can search here for books, magazines, course reserves, DVDs, textbooks, and other items that we hold in our physical collection (i.e. things you can come pull off the shelf and check out). We also have some of our e-content in TOPCAT, but not all.


  • Keep your searches broad and simple to start. Try 1 or 2 keywords at first.
  • Use the limiters on the left to narrow your results.



What is Ebook Central?

This is our main ebook vendor and you'll find over 140,000 ebooks across all different disciplines here. You can download ebooks or view them online, and they're all keyword searchable. Ebook Central is user friendly and easy to navigate. 


  • We recommend you read online rather than download your ebook. If you like to take notes or highlight books as you read, reading them online and saving them to your virtual bookshelf ensures you won't lose your notes when your checkout period expires.
  • You'll need to set up a user login to download ebooks or save them to your virtual bookshelf, but it's free and easy to do.
  • Contact a librarian if you have trouble setting up your ebook account.


Other Ebooks Available:

During the COVID-19 outbreak we have many additional sources of ebooks available. Check our Ebook Libguide for more information.

Search Opposing Viewpoints

opposing viewpoints


What is Opposing Viewpoints?

Ever been in class, talking to friends, or scrolling through the news and come across a heated debate on a topic that you don't know that much about? Opposing Viewpoints is a great place to start. It takes controversial topics and highlights the main points, then pulls relevant articles, statistics, news, and more that work as good examples of both sides of the argument.


  • This is a great place to get a feel for the main sides of a controversial topic, but sometimes the information is a little dated. For some topics, an article that's 5 years old won't make a difference. For other topics where cutting edge information is crucial, 5 years is ancient history. Consider your topic and check for currency when using Opposing Viewpoints.
  • Most current information will have a "NEW!" or "UPDATED!" tag on the topic link.

Search Google Scholar

google scholar logo

Why use Google Scholar?

Google Scholar takes some of the guesswork out of your research. Instead of wondering if the article you're reading is scholarly or comes from a reputable source, Google Scholar makes sure of it. You still have to do some legwork, but the quality of the information you have to work with is much higher. This is a great place to start academic research when your instructor says you need to find scholarly articles.


  • If you're not sure where to start, keep your searches broad at first. Slowly add additional keywords (or swap them out) when you get an idea of how you want to specify your question.
  • Do you have an article citation and want to know if we have the full text? Plug the article title in and, if we do, chances are good you'll see a [PDF], [HTML], or "Full Text @ Alverno" link appear to the right of the search results.
  • Always use the link on the library homepage (or on this guide) to get to Google Scholar, this will give you better results as it's synced with our databases.

FSS125 Class Resources

Romantic Comedies: Love & Gender

Your library liaison is: Sara Shutkin
Sara Shutkin

Sara Shutkin

Email Me

Alverno College Library/Archives
Office CO B8

Use this handout to determine if an article is considered scholarly: Is it a scholarly article or isn’t it?

To find more information and scholarly articles about "Love & Gender," do searches on Google Scholar, Academic Search Premier, Gender Watch, or Opposing Viewpoints. To find film reviews do searches on Academic Search Premier or in the New York Times. You can access these databases via the Databases A ot Z list.

Here is a link to it:

Also there is a special LibGuide to help you access the New York Times. Here is a link to it:


To get started finding information, try some of these topics in your search. There are many more; a librarian can help you.

  • Gender and Romantic Love
  • Gender and Romantic Relationships
  • Meaning in Romantic Comedies
  • Romantic Comedies
  • Romantic Comedies AND Class
  • Romantic Comedies AND Ethnicity
  • Romantic Comedies AND Gays & Lesbians 
  • Romantic Comedies AND Gender
  • Romantic Comedies AND Race
  • Romantic Comedies AND Women
  • Romantic Comedies Film
  • Romantic Love AND Gender
  • Romanticism AND Gender
  • Stereotypes in Romantic Comedies
  • Women in Romantic Comedies

Use Credo Reference for credible sources and background research.

Credo Reference

BRAIN: Using Your Brain to Evaluate Information (from Shasta College)


Need Help?


Send us a question:

APA Citation

Looking for APA resources? Try the Citation Guide.

LibGuides icon
Citing Sources LibGuide

These handouts will also get you started in the right direction:
Formatting a Book Citation
Formatting a Journal Article Citation
Formatting a Webpage Citation

Or, click here to view APA videos.

Off Campus Access

Log in from off campus using your Alverno network username and password. Click here for more information on off campus access.

Library Information

Need more help?

-Stop in for 1-on-1 help. Hours & Location
-Send us an email
-Call the research assistance desk at (414)382-6062
-Library Home Page
-Library Staff Directory