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The Printing Press is the English Department Newsletter. Its purpose is to inform majors and minors about programs and activities within the department. The Press will inform readers of activities and opportunities outside of Monmouth College. For any questions or submissions, contact,, or



 Google Scholar

by Johnathan Skidmore

While living on Monmouth College campus, students have access to many different scholarly search engines.  Many of these engines, such as the OED and EBSCO hosts, are only available when viewed on a computer connected to the campus network.  When you have graduated, heaven forbid, or when you find yourself at home on break, these important sources are not available.  Now, while these online sources are never a perfect replacement for an actual library staffed by competent librarians, a library is not always the most realistic option due to location and time constraints.  What is a poor college student or graduate to do?  Subscriptions to these sources are incredibly expensive and usually only available to large groups and organization.  Google is attempting to remedy this situation.

Google, now the most popular search engine in the United States, began officially in 1998 and was initially run out of a garage by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two Stanford University graduate students.  Prior to founding Google, the two colleagues ran a search engine called BackRub out of their college dormitory rooms in 1995.  Since then, Google has expanded greatly.  In late December of 2004, Google reached an agreement with the libraries at University of Oxford, Harvard University, Stanford University, the University of Michigan, and the New York Public Library in order to form a program referred to then as Google Print.  This program eventually became known as Google Book Search and is now known as Google Scholar.  Basically, this program is very similar to JSTOR, but its ultimate goal is to remain free to the public.

This marks a new chapter in the availability of copyrighted information.  No longer will you have to pay in order to search through print research materials, or at least that’s the goal.  In agreement with the libraries mentioned before, Google Scholar now allows the user to search through nearly every book contained in the libraries in a format similar to that of a PDF format or those used in JSTOR articles.  Every page of every book contained within these libraries will eventually be scanned and organized so that an entire book located in the Harvard library might be read on a computer in Monmouth, IL.  Google Scholar search results may include anything from classic literature, scholarly journals and articles, and even pulp fiction. 

This may seem like a researcher’s dream, but Google Scholar is still far from being complete.  Currently still in its beta testing stage, Google Scholar is not yet a complete database and yields limited results, but if it is as powerful upon its completion as the Google developers plan, it will easily become the most powerful search engine available.  As interest in Google Scholar has picked up, so have the sources.  Many publishing houses and companies have submitted their works to be scanned into the Google Scholar database.  As a result, Google has placed several requirements on what they will accept for their database.  These requirements are designed to help aid in faster searching and indexing of material as well as making the researching process as easy on the user as possible.  For this reason, all articles must come with a complete abstraction of the work, a list of works cited, and a proper citation for the piece.

Keep watching this source and it should prove to be invaluable in the future.  If you would like to try out the beta version of the Google Scholar it is available at the following link.  Overall, since this is still an incomplete database, JSTOR and EBSCO hosted academic search engines are still the better online sources of information, but it is comforting to know that a free and powerful alternative is in the works.  Soon, we shall see whether or not Google Scholar is able to its company tagline and help the scholar “Stand on the shoulders of giants.”



The Literature Resource Center

by Megan Carlson

Have you ever wondered what your favorite writer's inspiration was for writing his New York Times bestseller?  Have you ever not been able to sleep because you just have to know what the heck (insert your least favorite writer) is talking about?  If you have answered yes to one or both of these questions, you will find a mass array of integral information on the Literature Resource Center.  This is almost like the National Enquirer, but for bloodthirsty English enthusiasts.  In addition to being a source of entertainment and information into their personal lives, it also gives valuable resources such as articles on literary criticism, bibliographies, and even a literary-historical timeline.

When I got to the website the first thing that caught my eye was a quote by Peter Abelard.  This is what he says, "Against the disease of writing one must take special precautions, since it is a dangerous and contagious disease".  This was written to a lady named Heloise.  Ultimately I was intrigued and decided that he would be my victim.  It is very easy to search on this database.  You put in the author you choose to research and it provides you with all of the information. I typed in Peter Abelard and got a general description of him.  He was French and was extremely popular in his day (circa 1079-1142).  I proceeded with reading a biography that told me all I needed to know about Heloise.  She had a child with Abelard before they were married, but Abelard was castrated by one of his attendants.  A tragic story indeed.  Heloise became a nun, and Abelard entered an abbey in Paris.  He also was a teacher whose students included three popes and several heads of states.  This is very much the good gossip that many people like to learn about celebrities of their time like Abelard.  In addition to this, I checked literary criticism and found 8 articles.  These articles provided me with information mostly about his essays.  His works include "Sic et Non" and "Historia Calamitatum".  The essay "Historia Calamitatum" means  "The Story of My Misfortunes", and is about his own personal life.  He was very much a philosopher who gradually began to doubt his religion. 

The information that I found on the Literature Resource Center on Peter Abelard was very interesting to me.  I had not heard of him before reading the quote on the first page of the database.  In addition to finding out information about Authors, you can look up literary words you do not understand, check to see if your favorite author is coming close to town, or see what else was going on when your author wrote his works.  I highly suggest this database.  It is full of valuable information that will benefit papers, and in general, your own knowledge of the writer. 

The information found about Peter Abelard's life and works is at:

"Peter Abelard," in Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 115:
             Medieval Philosophers.  A Bruccoli Clark Layman book.  Ed. by
             Jeremiah Hackett, University of South Carolina.  The Gale Group,
             1992, pp.3-14.     



English Theme House

Several students of Monmouth College are attempting to establish an English theme house on campus.  The two English majors heading up these attempts are Luke Gorham and Ryan Gutierrez.  Originally the plan was to have between eight and ten people living in the theme house, but the petition that they need filled out only allows for seven.  They are currently at six subscribers.

Though they haven't been able to pick out an actual building for their house yet, the two have their eye on the old Service House that is currently housing the Science House and the new Service House, but they have noted that they would be happy with whatever they could get.  The tentative requirements to live in the English theme house are as follows:

  • Applicant must be an English major or minor

  • Applicant must have a GPA of 2.5 or higher (preferably 3.0 or higher)

  • Applicant must be willing to commit to several English-related projects that will occur throughout next year.

Anyone who is interested should contact Luke Gorham or Ryan Gutierrez.  They are currently looking for one more person to sign their petition.



  • ACM Visiting Scholars Initiative Presentation, 7 p.m. Thursday, March 2, Dahl Auditorium:



    Dr. Jean Ketter, professor of Educational Studies at Grinnell College will explain what goes through professors’ minds as we grade student papers (e.g., “I’ve told them time and time again not to use that stale phrase!”). She’ll offer suggestions for avoiding unoriginal language and for thinking through the purposes of an assignment and composing a paper with those goals in mind. A specialist in valid, authentic assessment, Ketter will explain the principles that guide your instructors’ responses to your work. Her presentation should also help you make sense of the articulation of activities within the new Gen. Ed course sequence here.

    In unpacking academic assessment for a student audience, Ketter will trace her process as she reads and evaluates papers, and the ways she looks for students’ engagement with concepts as evidenced on the page. This program should not only help students to better understand the goals for writing across the curriculum, but encourage them to view actively and critically how a college curriculum operates. 

                                     Arrive confused; leave confident!

    For further details, contact:
     Dr. Monie Hayes,, ext. 2153 or
     Dr. Steven Price,, ext. 2357.


  • The tutoring hours at the Mellinger Learning Center have changed. There are updated schedules posted around campus and there is also an updated version available on this website.  Please note that certain hours have changed and a new Japanese tutoring session has also been added.  To find this information quickly, please click here.


The Printing Press needs for you, that's right, you, to submit your work.  We are well aware of the fact that there are some serious writers out there.  If you, or someone you know, writes short stories or poetry, let us know.  For next issue, there will be a contest in order to help bring some of you out of your shells.  The students whose work we choose shall be exalted in the Printing Press and the author will be immortalized through the written word.  Did I mention that there was a prize?

The authors we choose to be placed in the Printing Press will win one black and white autographed photograph of their favorite English professor, frame included.  Who wouldn't want to have a signed picture of their mentor and inspiration placed on your desk. 

The winner will get to choose either Professor Craig Watson, Professor Kevin Roberts, Professor Rob Hale, Professor Mark Willhardt, Professor Marlo Belschner, Professor Mary Bruce, and as a special bonus Communication across the Curriculum Professor Steven Price.  Be the first one on your block to own one of these tasteful portraits, collect all seven!

This is a serious contest.  Please, submit any questions to one of the Printing Press staff members and good luck!


When beginning a massive research project, what sources do you go to first and why do you prefer those sources as your starting point?

I have recently found out about LION, which stands for LIterature ONline.  They seem to have really good critiques there.  I encourage you all to try it out.  Other than that, I usually go to EBSCO host.  EBSCO is like a security blanket.
– Kaitlin Horst

I usually use Google Scholar.  It covers so much in its search that I prefer to be able to henpeck through the many results in order to find what I want.  Alternatively, I usually go to my friends and cry and say, “I really want to quit school.”
– Jaime Calder

Actually, the first thing I usually do is go to a teacher.  For my senior seminar class I went to Rob Hale because it was his forte.  After that, I usually go to Worldcat or MLA.
– Morgan Mikita

I usually go to Google first.  The sources that you get off of there are usually the easiest to understand. 
– Andrea Madden

I like to check the books in the library first. I've found that whatever critical analysis I can find in those books there would be most convenient and probably the most worthwhile.  I also just like going through the books in the library.  It makes me feel like I'm actually doing something.
– Mike Seufert


Cultural Events Calendar

The Cultural Events Calendar is a monthly update on the special activities going on at Monmouth College and other campuses such as Western, Knox, and Augustana.


Writing Labs

Monday - Thursday                 3:00-5:00  pm
  Sunday - Thursday                 7:00-10:00 pm
Math Monday - Thursday                 3:00 - 5:00 pm
  Sunday - Thursday                 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Spanish Monday and Thursday             7:00 - 8:00 pm
  Tuesday and Wednesday         7:00 - 9:00 pm
French Tuesday and Thursday            7:00 - 9:00 pm
German Tuesday and Thursday            6:00 - 7:00 pm
Japanese Monday                                3:00 - 5:00 pm
  Thursday                              4:00 - 5:00 pm

          By appointment Only
            (3rd Floor of Wallace Hall)

Photograph courtesy of Jamie Jasmer

The Senior Seminar class getting a glimpse of Easter a bit early courtesy of "The Pink Bunny" aka Brandon Athey. 


Photograph courtesy of Jamie Jasmer

Brandon Athey dances in an effort to break up the stressful atmosphere of Senior Seminar.



Jamie Jasmer                                       Johnathan Skidmore                      

Megan Carlson


Features | Announcements | Survey Says | Mellinger Tutoring Hours
Student Entries | Cultural Events Calendar | Final Frame | Staff

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