CWAA Mythbusters

The Center for Writing and Academic Achievement (CWAA) is located on the third floor of the library and offers free peer tutoring and writing consultations. Our subject tutors strive to help students understand course material, apply concepts on assignments, and perform well on exams, while our writing consultants work closely with students to enhance their writing. We’re out to bust some myths and misconceptions about the services we offer. Read on to see what the CWAA can do for you!

  • Myth: You need to be doing poorly in a course to seek help.
    Fact: It can be beneficial to attend a tutoring session simply to maintain a consistent understanding of the material. This might mean coming in even if you’re doing well in the class to stay on the right track.
  • Myth: You need to have a completed paper in order to work with a writing consultant.
    Fact: We encourage students to come in during any stage of the writing process. Whether you are still working on developing ideas, focusing on incorporating evidence, or fine-tuning your thesis, we can help alleviate your concerns and suggest new methods to better prepare you for the next paper.
  • Myth: Group tutoring sessions are not as productive as individual sessions.
    Fact: Sometimes learning from your peers is just as effective as learning from a tutor. Having a conversation about the material can create a clearer understanding of the content, and may even offer a new perspective.
  • Myth: If you come to the CWAA, you can get answers to your homework or an A on your paper.
    Fact: We emphasize comprehension over getting the answers. Our goal is to encourage the learning and writing process. We want to help students understand critical concepts so they can apply them independently in the future. Therefore, the tutors will not give you answers, but instead help you develop the necessary skills to reach the answer on your own. Likewise, meeting with a writing consultant will not guarantee you an A on your paper, but rather will empower you to communicate efficiently and become a more confident writer.
  • Myth: All Writing Consultants are English majors.
    Fact: Our staff consists of consultants from all disciplines, including political science, biology, religious studies, and economics. Each consultant enrolls in a semester-long course prior to working in the center to develop a skillset for assisting students with writing in any subject.
  • Myth: Attending a subject tutoring session can serve as a replacement for going to class.
    Fact: Tutoring should be used as a supplement to lecture material, not as a replacement.
  • Myth: You can only meet with a writing consultant on a paper for a course.
    Fact: Writing consultants are also trained to help with nonacademic writing, such as scholarship essays, personal statements, and cover letters.
  • Myth: You need to set up an appointment in order to meet with a writing consultant.
    Fact: Writing consultations are on a walk-in basis, so making an appointment is not necessary! However, if you’d like to meet with a professional tutor, limited appointments are available through the CWAA website.

Students who come to the CWAA know the benefits of tutoring. As one student said, “Walking into the CWAA, I was thoroughly confused on the material, but when I left I felt as though I had a much clearer understanding, and felt significantly more confident walking into class the next day.” Another student commented on an experience with a writing consultant, stating that “the [consultant] really made me think about… what would make the paper stronger, instead of telling me what to do.” Ultimately, the goal of CWAA subject tutors and writing consultants is to facilitate learning and encourage confidence. Our schedule for writing and other subjects can be found on the CWAA website. We hope to see you soon!

Your CWAA Mythbusters are Senior Tutors Joe Conti, ’18, Cassie Daisy, ’18, and Olivia Peterson ’18.

Stonehill, King Philip’s Cave and Native American History Month

Stonehill Excavations: Shown here reviewing the map plan for digging are, left to right, Dr. John P. Sullivan, of Easton, assistant professor of American history; Leo J. Kelly, 20, of Braintree; William Nowick; and John Donovan, 29, of Jamaica Plain; April 16,1957

Whenever I am asked why Native American history is important to me, I offer one anecdote in explanation. In 2009, I was working on my senior history thesis here at Stonehill. During a research visit to the Plimoth Plantation library, I was given the opportunity to walk through the Wampanoag Homesite, where I stopped to watch a mishoon (a type of Wampanog canoe) demonstration. Visitors bombarded the Wampanoag (yes, he was actually Wampanoag) interpreter with questions. One question in particular left a lasting impression on me: “Do Native Americans still exist?” In that moment I realized the “myth of the vanishing Indian” I read so often about in class was a reality. From that moment, I was determined to better understand the historical dynamics that lead to such beliefs.

As I set out on various research projects I always ended up returning to Stonehill’s Native American history. At the start of my senior thesis, I learned about King Philip’s Cave and the archaeological investigations that sought evidence of Native American settlements on Stonehill’s campus. Since 1948, several archaeological excavations took place on campus, but only one produced evidence supporting the belief that Native Americans once resided on parts of campus.

During the fall of 1956 and spring of 1957, an 8-person team consisting of Stonehill College students and faculty, as well as off-campus volunteers began archaeological excavations of King Philip’s Cave. The group initiated the project in order to ascertain evidence confirming King Philip occupied the cave atop Stone House Hill during the mid- to late-1670s. Under the guidance of Stonehill science professor Dr. James Reedy, William Nowick ‘57, Leo Kelly ‘57, Paul Flynn ‘57, and Timothy Maloney ’59 painstakingly excavated the cave floor and uncovered evidence of Native American habitation of the cave during pre-contact and colonial periods. Though the excavations proved successful, Stone House Hill’s Native American history remains shrouded in local legend and misinformation.

All that remains from those excavations is the final report, a couple news clippings, and several photographs. Objects are extremely valuable when interpreting the past, and the artifacts uncovered by Nowick and his fellow excavators could have helped interpret history to shake off myth and legend. Alas, the artifacts uncovered during the excavations vanished. Since the 1970s, Archives staff have made multiple attempts at locating the lost artifacts, but these searches all led to dead ends. To make matters worse, throughout the twentieth century looters stripped the site of much of its material culture. Much like other Native American historical sites, Stone House Hill’s former abundance of lithics (stone tools, such as arrowheads) attracted amateur archaeologists, collectors, and hobbyists.

Losing artifacts in many ways led to a loss of history, culture, and identity. With the missing and looted evidence, Stonehill Anthropology and History faculty along with Archives staff could conduct additional analyses of the material remains in order to better understand Stone House Hill’s Native American history. While the 1956-1957 digs produced no conclusive proof indicating King Philip camped on Stone House Hill, the name, King Philip’s Cave, endured. The lost artifacts in all likelihood could have corrected this misnomer and replaced myth with an evidence-based history.

As we observe Native American Heritage Month, it is important to reflect on the intermingling of history, culture, and myth. Though there is still much to learn about Stonehill’s Native American history, it must also be acknowledged that the past peoples we seek to learn about did not go extinct. They, like all extant cultures, struck—no, strike a unique balance of maintaining and transforming their cultural identities. As a historian, I know full well I cannot use a 600-year-old stone hand tool or 300-year-old earthenware pot to interpret how Wampaoag communities exist today. Why? First, because a Wampanoag tribal member can buy a hammer at Home Depot and purchase soup bowls at Ikea. Second, and most importantly, because I do not need artifacts to interpret how Wampanoag tribal members live today. All I need to do is ask.

Written by Jonathan Green ’10, Assistant Director of Archives and Digital Manager

Displaying Full Text PDFs Within Browser Windows

We are aware that you may experience trouble with databases displaying full text PDFs within browser windows. People are experiencing this issue most frequently with the Historical Boston Globe and the Historical New York Times (both of these are Proquest databases, and you may see this in other Proquest databases as well).


When you access one of these databases, first perform your search:



When you select and view one of the results in your search, you will likely see a page that should include a PDF image of your article, but instead appears to be blank:



To access the PDF on a page that looks like this, right click on the “Download PDF” button and select “Open Link in New Tab”



You may then see a security certificate exception notice. Follow these instructions to click through the notice, if you receive one. It may look like this, but will vary depending on your browser:



Your PDF should then open in a new window:



If you have any questions about this or experience other issues related to our databases, please contact or call 508-565-1329

Chocolate Myths: Is It Really Good For You?

Just in time for Halloween, research finds that perhaps chocolate isn’t as good for us as we hoped. Vox reports that the Mars company has sponsored hundreds of scientific studies to show cocoa is good for you, leading people to believe that chocolate has all sorts of health benefits, including aiding everything from your memory to your heart health.  The truth is far more modest than we’ve been led to believe by flashy articles on websites, magazines and TV programs.

Research about the benefits of chocolate is available all over the web, and can be found in reputable sources. One examples of this research includes the article “To Improve a Memory, Consider Chocolate” in The New York Times, which explained that the study participants who drank the high flavanol beverage “performed like people two to three decades younger on the study’s memory task.” It sounds like an amazing finding, but you have to read more to discover that they are looking at the consumption of a specially formulated drink, and it would take the consumption of seven larger candy bars to get a similar amount of flavanols. The study also had a small number of participants and several other important caveats. Original research is often much more nuanced than articles in newspapers and magazines.

The lack of detailed analysis in many popular articles is compounded by the fact that many industries produce a substantial body of research to persuade consumers that their products have benefits, which may be overstated in secondary reports. This is where the library comes in! When reading reports on the web and in magazines, it is always best to try to go to the original source to see if the results have been reported accurately. For example, the HuffPost recently had an article 9 Reasons you should Eat Dark Chocolate Every Single Day; the original articles are often buried many clicks deep, but once you get to them, you’ll find full PDFs in library databases like Science Direct or PubMed. The original studies report results that are not nearly as dramatic or conclusive as articles like the HuffPost piece suggest. Sadly, if it sounds too good to be true, it likely is.

For an amusing look at the ways food companies manipulate research about candy, watch John Oliver’s expose on Sugar.

Bibliography How-to Video Resources

Do you have questions about how to manage your citation and create a bibliography? Have you been getting questions about this from your students? We can help!

The library has created sets of videos, handouts and LibGuides to assist you.

For Students:

Visit our Library Crash Course Libguide’s Bibliographies page. You’ll see resources for MLA8, Chicago, and APA bibliographies.

Each set of resources includes a video introduction, two printable handouts, and a link to our full LibGuide for that citation style.

For Faculty:

If you would like a Librarian to build any of these resources into your eLearn sites, please email Heather Perry; embed code for each of the videos is also available in the LibGuide.

If your students use a citation style not yet included, contact Heather Perry to have additional videos created for your courses.


If you would like to check out these and other resources we have created to assist students in using library tools, visit


Collaboratory for Innovative Design (CID) presents Digital Scholarship and Digital Commons

As the CID explores the next steps in establishing an institutional repository at Stonehill, please join us for an overview and discussion of bepress Digital Commons as a potential hosted solution.  Digital Commons is a digital repository and publishing platform. This is a system for gathering in one place all the valuable digital work being produced on campus, in order to showcase and disseminate it for maximum effect.  Content in Digital Commons is optimized for discovery, access, and scholarly impact on the open web.
This is an opportunity to learn how Digital Commons might support research, teaching, and public engagement on campus. The presentation will explore the variety of content that would benefit from being showcased in a Stonehill repository:
·         Faculty research. This includes the full spectrum of faculty digital scholarship, from already published research articles to reports, working papers, data sets, video, creative works, and more.  The platform showcases individual departments, centers, and programs, as well as individual faculty profile pages.
·         Scholarly publishing. Digital Commons is a professional publishing platform and supports online peer review and publishing, lowering the barriers to publish and manage digital journals, books, and conferences.
·         Student scholarship. Possible examples include publishing theses, honors projects, creative work, student events, and
student-edited journals and publications.
·         University publications and administrative documents, including annual reports, marketing materials, alumni magazine, an archive of press releases, and campus archival collections.
Here are links to some of our peer sites if you would like to explore what is possible:
Providence College–they also have a nice video on youtube talking about their DC site.

Continuing the Conversation on Injustice

Continuing the Conversation on Injustice


Just over two months ago, a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, sparked counterprotests around the United States. During the counterprotests in Charlottesville, Heather Heyer was killed by James Alex Fields Jr., when he drove his car into the crowd. These two sentences provide only the barest factual information about the August 2017 events, which sparked fraught political responses and conversations in academia, in our news media, and on social media about free speech, white supremacy, systemic racism, and injustice.


Now, two months later, it is important that we continue those conversations. For instance, maybe you watch The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. On August 23rd, he interviewed Bryan Stevenson and Andra Day. Stevenson is the founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, and Andra Day is a grammy-nominated musician, currently best known for her song “Rise Up.” (Currently, a rendition of her song by middle school students at Cardinal Shehan School in Baltimore is going viral on social media.)


The interview is available on Comedy Central’s website; however, from here, you might be interested in learning more about Stevenson, his work, and the history of injustice he discusses in the extended interview. The Library has a copy of Stevenson’s book Just Mercy, available for check out, and his Ted Talk, “We need to talk about injustice,” is also available through the Library. If you are a secondary education major, you might also be interested in the Discussion Guide on Just Mercy, available on the Equal Justice Initiative’s website.


Or maybe you browed the Equal Justice Initiative’s website, after watching Trevor Noah’s interview with Stevenson and Day. Currently, the website features a project on Lynching in America, and discusses the need for a national memorial. The Library also has a number of resources on the ethics of memory and why and how we choose what we commemorate, including Sue Campbell’s book, Our Faithfulness to the Past: The Ethics and Politics of Memory and Avishai Margalit’s book,The Ethics of Memory.


In addition, the Library has resources that discuss the history of American memorials and their role in shaping our culture and how we respond to the past. For instance, you might be interested in or the edited volume Slavery and Public History: The Tough Stuff of American Memory or the film Where Do We Go From Here: A Dialogue on Race.


If you are interested in the legacy of slavery and ongoing issues of injustice in America, consider looking into resources such as the documentary Banished, which examines three towns who were part of a movement between 1860 and 1920 to expel African American residents, and the legacy of those actions. Dr James Loewen, author of Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism, writes that Banished “provides a remarkable exploration of four sundown towns — places where historically, and even today, African Americans could not live or even spend the night. It is the perfect antidote for those who think we live in a post-racial society.


Or, if you’re interested in Andra Day, and want to know more about the history of music within the African American community or the legacy of female artists in particular, check out William C. Banfield’s book Cultural Codes: Makings of a Black Music Philosophy or the documentary The Songs Are Free: Bernice Johnson Reagon and African-American Music.


And finally, if you’re looking for ways to take action, we have resources to help with that too! The Office of Intercultural Affairs has a collection of resources available in their office, including the book Everyday White People Confront Racial & Social Injustice: 15 Stories and the film Colorblind: The Rise of Post-Racial Politics and the Retreat from Racial Equity.


These are just a few selected examples of the types of resources available through the Library; librarians are also availableto help you research any of these topics. Also, watch for events on campus, such as the 9th Annual Conference on Diversity and Inclusion, happening Wednesday, October 25th from 4pm-8pm!

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power


On October 26th, join former Vice President Al Gore for a nationwide screening of An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, sponsored by the Growing Climate Justice at Stonehill initiative and the MacPhaidin Library. Emily Van Auken ’18, a recent participant in Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corp, will introduce the film.


Where: Martin Auditorium

When: Thursday, October 26th, 4:45pm-7pm

What: A screening of An Inconvenient Sequel begins at 4:55pm, followed by a live Q&A webcase with Al Gore at 6:45pm.


From the filmmakers: “A decade after AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH brought the climate crisis into the heart of popular culture, comes the riveting and rousing follow-up that shows just how close we are to a real energy revolution. Former Vice President Al Gore continues his tireless fight, traveling around the world training an army of climate champions and influencing international climate policy. Cameras follow him behind the scenes – in moments both private and public, funny and poignant — as he pursues the inspirational idea that while the stakes have never been higher, the perils of climate change can be overcome with human ingenuity and passion.”


“Eleven years after An Inconvenient Truth Mr. Gore remains a prodigy of hope, with energy that seems endlessly renewable.” – Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal


If you are interested in learning more about the film, visit:

Educational site:

Introducing the New RefWorks!

Introducing a new version of Refworks

The library recently made an updated version of RefWorks available to students, faculty, and staff. There are significant improvements and changes to the product. You can learn more about the new Refworks on the Proquest New Refworks Libguide.

If you’ve never had a Refworks account and if you have an existing account, you will need to create an account in the new Refworks; users of the legacy version will then need to import their citations and notes from the legacy version into the new version.

To create a new account, go to Click on the Create account link (circle below in red). You must use your Stonehill email address.

Once your new account has been created and you have logged in, you may be asked if you want to important legacy data. If you are a new user, you do not need to do this; if you previously used Refworks (now called Legacy Refworks), click yes.

If you had an existing account and are not prompted to import legacy data, click on the + sign in the task bar area at the top (pictured below).

Choose the option to Import references: Import from RefWorks, Mendeley or RIS file (pictured below).

Choose RefWorks to import references from (pictured below).

At the next screen, click on Authorize in order to authenticate with the legacy version of RefWorks (pictured below).

You now need to log in to the legacy version of RefWorks to authenticate your request. You can reset your password here as well.

Once you have logged into the legacy version, your citations will be imported.

You Asked. We Answered: Introducing the Library’s New Workshop Series

Each year, we survey students to find out what services you’d like to see the Library offer. In last year’s comments, we noticed a theme:

  • “Hold library information sessions early on in each semester [that] are accessible at a variety of times.”
  • “Have more workshops.”
  • “Advertising the resources available at the library more, and holding events once a month on how to use the library resources.”
  • “I think holding more workshops in the library that students are required to attend would encourage more people to spend time there.”

We’re not requiring you to attend, but we are offering a new series of library skills workshops.  We asked students to vote on the workshops that sounded most interesting to them, and selected workshop topics to address common concerns that students may have.  Workshops are hands on and encourage students to bring their laptops and upcoming assignments.

Video versions of the workshops are available at additional workshop videos are added as they occur. Faculty are also welcome to add the workshop videos to their eLearn pages.  New workshops will be designed and held to respond to requests, so if you don’t see what you want, email and we will be delighted to accommodate your needs. Additional videos addressing library skills like searching the databases, finding full text and creating annotated bibliographies are available at

Workshops on Time Management and Refining your Research Question have already been held.  Workshops are held on Mondays at 8PM in the DisCo. Additional days and times will be added.

Upcoming workshops in the DisCo:

  • Monday October 9 at 8PM
    Refining your Research Question
    Have an upcoming paper? Not quite sure how to formulate a good research question? We can walk you through the process of refining your research question to make your research easier and more efficient.
  • Monday October 16 at 8PM
    Get your stuff together
    Have you saved so many things to the desktop that you can’t find your most recent download? Are you starting a research project that requires a lot of steps? Are you taking more than one class at once? Do you want to learn how to organize your inbox so you can find what you’re looking for? This is the workshop for you! Please bring your computers, questions, and enthusiasm as we get your emails, PDFs, word documents and more organized.
  • Monday October 23 at 8PM
    Google like a Pro
    Looking to take your google search to the next level?  We’ll go over advanced search techniques that you can use in google to find the credible sources and information that you’re looking for. Please bring your computers, questions, and remember: Don’t “just google it”, google it like a professional.
  • Monday October 30 at 8PM
    Manage your Citations
    APA, MLA, Chicago and more! Interested in learning about a program that can organize your citations and help you with in-text formatting? This workshop will go over how to utilize the citation manager Refworks to organize your research, create bibliographies and in-text citation. Please bring your laptops and some sources you would like to organize (if you have them).

Additional topics coming soon include:

  • What’s a Scholarly Source
  • Keep Up with the Times
  • Research at the Beach
  • HTML + CSS Basics
  • Primary Sources
  • Record Your Genius