Master’s Projects & Theses: Tips & Tools for Your Winter Break!

Over the winter break, no doubt most of you will be hard at work on the first draft of your master’s projects and theses! Here are some ways to get help before your draft is due, along with some helpful resources and strategies for getting that draft done.

Where to get help:

Nott Terrace High School journalism students at copy desk of the Terrace Tribune. Schenectady, New York (collection, Library of Congress).

  • Lehman Library hours: Open December 24th, 29th, 30th, & 31st from 9am to 5pm; (directions)
    • Closed December 20th through December 28th.
    • Closed January 1st through January 4th.
  • Contact information for librarians, arranged by subject expertise.
  • For journalism help: email journalism@library.columbia.edu (While Starr’s away for the holidays, her colleagues will answer this email address. Starr monitors it while she’s in town.)
  • For help after 5pm or on weekends: use our Ask A Librarian service.

Writing and editing resources:

Project/Thesis tips and strategies:

Peg Boyle Single has some great tips on writing theses and dissertations, much of which is applicable to your project. She also wrote a great (and really short!) book on this topic.
How to Write a Lot by Paul Silvia; this book is geared toward academic writing, but it’s suitable for all kinds of writing, and how to make a habit of it. Best of all, this book is super-short at just 149 pages!
This Gradhacker article has a lot of great tips, primarily geared toward getting yourself in the right mental space to get the work done. The main take-aways:
  • You are not alone—all your classmates (and those before you) have faced feelings of anxiety, failure, and inability related to this project. You may feel like you’re the only one struggling, but all of us who have trudged the halls of graduate school have faced similar feelings. Reach out for the support of your classmates—they probably need to vent their frustration, too.
  • Work in small increments, like half an hour. Even a little progress is something. Facing the seemingly insurmountable goal of writing your entire project can seem daunting, but you get it done by just breaking it down into tiny pieces.
  • Don’t strive for perfection, strive for DONE.
This blog post on outlining shows a great way to break your project up into chunks. Outlines are key to breaking your project into small, digestable pieces, and for keeping you on track.
A focus statement can be helpful: write a one- or two-sentence summary of your project. Write or print it on a notecard or small piece of paper, and keep it in front of you while you work. Look up at it every once in a while, and use it to keep yourself on track. Often, while working on a story or research, your mind will take off on wild tangents—having your focus statement in front of you can help you maximize your time by keeping you focused.

Thankgiving Week Hours

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Journalism Library will be CLOSED Wednesday, November 26 through Friday November 27th. We will reopen with our normal business hours Saturday, November 29th. Enjoy your Turkey Day!

Fall Hours

8d22997rHappy Fall! The campus is now a buzz with the underclassmen and the semester will be in full swing. The library hours will be as follows:
August 30 & 31: CLOSED
September 1: CLOSED

Starting September 2nd our Fall hours begin.

Monday-Tuesday: 1pm-8pm
Friday: 1pm-6pm
Saturday: 10am-6pm
Sunday: 2pm-8pm

Authoritative Ebola Information

Dr. Charles Armstrong, Public Health Surgeon and Specialist on virus diseases, photographed in the laboratory in D.C., 1935. From Library of Congress.

Dr. Charles Armstrong, Public Health Surgeon and Specialist on virus diseases, photographed in the laboratory in D.C., 1935. From Library of Congress. <http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/hec2013009517/>

Many thanks to the NN/LM MAR for this timely information on Ebola!

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

World Health Organization (WHO)
Gobal Alert and Response: Ebola Virus Disease

National Library of Medicine (NLM) MedlinePlus Resource Guides

NLM Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC)
Resource Guide for Disaster Medicine and Public Health

U.S. Joint Commission
Recommendations for U.S. Hospitals Treating Ebola Patients

Welcome New Students! Fall Library Hours

Hello and welcome to all the new students starting this year! We are so excited to meet you all.

Starting August 4th we will begin having new hours, including Saturday hours, for your studying needs.

Monday-Thursday: 1pm-8pm
Friday: 1pm-6pm
Saturday: 10am-6pm
Sunday: CLOSED

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Student work, take a look!

Congratulations to the graduating class of 2014! We know you might not all have had the chance to see your fellow students work from the Video Storytelling class, so here is a link to a web site created by your class mates. http://who-is-y.com/ These videos are some examples of a the great work you all created while here. We know you will do so much more in the future. Congratulations again!

(note: the videos are currently locked because the students are working to see if they can be published with other sources first. So, please enjoy the site for now, we will update with a password ASAP. At least you have an idea of what you can look forward to!) 🙂

Summer Hours

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HAPPY SUMMER SESSION! Journalism Library will begin summer hours starting Tuesday, May 27th. The Library will be CLOSED Monday, May 28th.

Monday-Thursday: 1-8pm
Friday: 1-6pm
Saturday: CLOSED
Sunday: CLOSED