Monthly Archives: November 2017

Seven Tips For Putting The Finishing Touches On Your Final Papers

Proofreading its error

You’ve written a paper that you think is good, but there are a few things you may want to do before handing it in to make sure you’re submitting your best work:

  1. Make an appointment with the CWAA. If you haven’t already, get some peer support.
  1. Recheck the assignment. Have you done all the things that were outlined in the assignment? It’s easy to make avoidable mistakes if you’ve read the assignment too quickly. Your professor may have specified citation style, font, length, number of sources, etc.  Make sure you have followed these guidelines.
  1. Try Grammarly. Grammarly is a powerful but easy-to-use writing app that finds and corrects hundreds of complex writing errors, including grammar, spelling, punctuation, and style. While Grammarly is not going to find all your errors, it can be a nice second set of eyes which may see some of the errors that you do not.
  1. Make sure you have cited the information you used throughout your paper. For more information, choose the citation guide your professor requires from our list ofcitation guides.  Of course, it is best to add your citations while you are writing, but there is no time like the present to check if you have missed anything.  Look for quotations or paraphrases that you have not cited, and make sure you use the style your professor prefers.
  1. Create your bibliography. Again, find the style that your professor requires or suggests.  Look at our style guides to help you properly format your citations. If you have used a citation tool like the tools available from EBSCO, Google Scholar or RefWorks, make sure you are proofreading them all.  We suggest avoiding tools like EasyBib, which often produce less accurate citations than the tools listed above; if you have used EasyBib, again be sure to proofread your work.
  1. Proofread! Make sure that your paper makes sense, and it is properly punctuated.
  1. Final finishing touches: Did you give your paper an appropriate title? Include your name, check your margins, and make sure your paper is in one consistent font. An inconsistent font may make your professor think that you cut and pasted your paper together.

Meet Seamus Farrelly

Seamus Farrelly

Seamus Farrelly is  a familiar face in the MacPhaidin Library!  We sat down with Seamus to learn more about him, what he likes about the library, and the impact he’s had.

How long have you worked here?
14 and a half years

Favorite thing about working in the library?
The people.  It’s a potpourri of everything.  The staff has a good sense of a humor and I like the students because their dreams are the ones we’ve already had.

Which day of the week is the messiest to clean up after?
None are bad, but Monday seems to be the worst.  The kids are great, and I can never complain!

Best advice you’ve given a student?
Going to college is a privilege.  It’s not a given.

Favorite book?
The TV Guide.  I read Trinity but I didn’t understand it.

What’s the best thing you’ve learned from our students?
Now that’s a hundred dollar question.  Well, I’d say it is to accept each person for the value of what they are.  The students keep me young!

Favorite Fr. Bart getup?
It has to be St. Patrick’s Day!

Personal history highlights
In 1974, I met the woman I’d marry the day I landed in this country from Leitrim, Ireland.  How many people can say that?  She was my next door neighbor in Walpole, MA!  I was nervously optimistic!

What’s the best change you’ve seen in the library?
The DisCo!  The DisCo just works!

Have you noticed favorite study spots?
All students are creatures of habit.  They always go back to the same place!

Funniest memory of working in the library?
Ripping out the old desks in room 116  with a crowbar and the systems department to make way for the DisCo construction.


Gift Wrapping in the Library

Finals and the holidays are fast approaching! Finals are stressful enough without all of the tasks that come with the holiday season. Let us help with that! Stop by the library between December 11th and the 20th with any gifts that need wrapping. We’ll have a fully stocked gift wrapping station in the alcove to the right of the print room, and you are welcome to use all of the supplies to wrap your gifts before you head home.


Not sure how to properly wrap a gift?  Check out How to Wrap a Gift Like a Pro for tips and tricks.


We would love it if you post some pictures of your festive packages to our Facebook or Instagram pages!

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.