Win Your March Madness Academic Bracket!

blank tournament bracketAs NCAA teams compete for a chance to win the championship title, students, too, must jump through hoops to successfully complete their research assignments to give them a chance to earn those degrees and certificates. A winning strategy: ask a librarian for research assistance!

How can you “Ask a Librarian” for assistance?

With the well-deserved Spring Break behind us, it is time for us get back to “reality”. The semester is at the mid-point and due dates for assignments are quickly approaching. Do you have a research assignment? The Thigpen Library on the main campus in Gallatin is not only a place to find your resources but also a place to get help with your research. Too, library staff at the sites in Cookeville, Livingston, and Springfield are eager to assist you.

How can the library help you?

The Librarians and Library Staff can:

  • provide guidance for academic-level research
  • assist with research for class assignments
  • provide tools and strategies to obtain credible resources
  • evaluate sources
  • provide instruction in the use of electronic resources, such as Databases
  • offer search tips or other research-related assistance
  • keep you updated on new library resources as well as library news and events

We can help you find the resources necessary to successfully complete assigned research projects. If you are unfamiliar with how to do research or unfamiliar with the resources available at our library, we will be glad to guide and teach you. Even if you are familiar with the means and methods of research, the library can tell you about new materials or resources that might be unknown to you. If you cannot find information on a certain topic, please check with us. We may be able to assist by recommending various search terms or provide other tips to assist in your search for applicable, meaningful and scholarly resources.

The topic that you select for your assignments will ultimately determine what types of resources will best suit your needs for your research. Often times, a narrow topic may lead to a limited number of relevant, scholarly resource materials. On the other hand, a broad topic may lead to “information overload.” Do not become frustrated if you run into struggles, though. We have many types of resources and other “tip and tricks” available to you, so please “Ask a Librarian.”

Define the word

Thigpen Library provides access to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the ultimate English language dictionary. Find it on the Thigpen shelves (PE 1625 .O86 2001) or online in the O section of our A to Z database listing.


Or simply define a word straight from the search bar in an internet search engine. In Google use Def:, followed by the word, ie. Def: simple and in DuckDuckGo use Define.

google define


How do you search the Web?

Escape from the same old search engine routine and try DuckDuckGo. This search engine offers robust personal privacy options and gets you where you want to go quicker. The results page is less cluttered, better organized, and offers links to topics related to your search terms. The meanings tab (for an example, see this search on Belgium) can get more precise results


Or consider fetching your search results with the metasearch engine Dogpile. For best results learn the about your search engine, like these Dogpile tricks of the trade.


Get more precise results by using these Bing advanced search keywords or these Google Search operators.