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THEA 100 (Adam Thatcher)

Resources to use for your assignments and projects in Theatre 100.

Source Requirements for Your Course

Welcome, Theatre 100 students!

undefinedStudents in Adam Thatcher's THEA 100 class: Throughout your course, you will need to be able to find outside information sources and bring them in to your projects and assignments.  As stated in your syllabus, under "Academic Integrity," you need to use legitimate, scholarly sources -- sources you find through the Ball State University Libraries' web site.  This guide is meant to give you both general ideas for how to get started, and some specific tips for some aspects of your projects.

The physical library buildings are currently closed on Ball State's campus in Muncie, Indiana.  But, fortunately, there's a wealth of information available online that you're able to get to because you're a Ball State student and therefore have access to databases you wouldn't be able to use otherwise.

This guide will cover:

Research Tips

As you search in library databases, here are a few tips which may be useful:

  • Understand the difference between OneSearch and other library databases:
    • OneSearch (linked below) lets you cast a very broad net and find lots to look through, searching through many of our article databases all at the same time as you also search for the physical items we own in our libraries.
    • International Bibliography of Theatre and Dance (linked below) is one of our subject-specific databases.  It has an obvious focus on the theatre, limiting your results to that field.
  • Bear in mind these two spellings: theatre       theater and consider searching using both
  • Put titles, and names, and other phrases in quotation marks.  (ex. "robert redford", "waiting for godot")
  • Consider using the CHOP, DROP, and OR technique for searching when you have more than one idea involved in your search.  It allows you to cast your net wide, so you bring up titles which might be related to your topic -- closely or tangentially -- so that you can consider them.
    • First you CHOP your topic up, identifying the important words.
    • Then you DROP each search word into a separate search box.
    • Finally you consider if there are other synonyms or related terms which might be wise to search on, using OR between them.
  • The "Subjects" field in a record is helpful in finding good terms to use as search terms.

OneSearch: A library discovery tool

Because you're searching a large number of databases at the same time when you do a search in OneSearch, you will get a wide variety of results.  Some will be books (in our physical library), many will be articles (found through our article databases).

If I'm searching on the actor and director Kenneth Branagh, I could type my search into the OneSearch box like this:

OneSearch search box with "kenneth branagh"

(The quotation marks keep the first and last name together in the search.  And capitalization doesn't matter.)

I find many, many results.  First let's focus on finding books.  Then we'll look at finding full-text articles.

To limit your results to books:

From the results page, look on the left for the CONTENT TYPE limiter.  Choose "Book/eBook" as seen here:


In our results, we'll see both physical books, located in our libraries, as well as ebooks, as seen here:

First two OneSearch results, showing a title of physical book and then an eBook.

To find out how to get scanned portions of a physical book (like #2, above), see the box below called "Requesting a chapter of a book through Interlibrary Loan."

To limit your results to full-text sources:

Look on the left-hand side, under REFINE YOUR SEARCH, and click the "Full Text Online" link.  This will limit your results to those articles, books or book chapters which can be read in their entirety online.

To limit your results by content type:

In considering which sorts of information sources you want to use, consider:

  • Journal articles: are written by experts/scholars, use specialized vocabulary from that field, include lists of sources authors used in writing them, are often quite lengthy, and take a while to get published (so they can't cover current topics very well)
  • Magazine articles: are written by staff reporters, are often conversational in tone, tend to be shorter, often include illustrations and photography, and don't take too long to get published
  • Newspaper articles: are written by staff reporters, have the general public as their audience, and take little time to publish (so they're ideal for very current topics)

Book reviews will not be useful for me, and I'm choosing not to use newspaper articles, so I've clicked on "Magazine Article" and "Journal Article" under CONTENT TYPE, as shown here:

To limit by discipline:

Since the person I'm researching has had his foot in more than one realm, I may want to get more specific and look under DISCIPLINE and choose "drama" to reduce discussion of his work in film.

Discipline limiter showing "drama" checked

To learn more about your results:

I can click on the "Preview" link to get more information about a particular title.  Often it will provide me with the abstract, which helps me get an idea of what the article is about.

To get to the full article:

Either click on the article title or the "Full Text Online" link.

  • Sometimes it will take you directly to the article.
  • Sometimes you maybe be brought to another OneSearch page (like this one), where you need to click on a link under "View Online."

Record in OneSearch, highlighting that you click on the link under "View Online" to get to the full article.

(Unless you're on campus, you'll need to then log in with your Ball State username and password to pull the full article up.)

Bear in mind that in order to find two sources that work best for your project, you'll likely have to read through a bunch of articles.  Be patient!  And ask questions, if you have them.

Introduction to the International Bibliography of Theatre and Dance

You can get to the International Bibliography of Theatre and Dance (IBTD) from the Ball State Libraries' Databases page.

If I'm interested in finding out how COVID-19 has affected actors, I can use the CHOP, DROP, and OR technique, like this:

  • CHOP my topic up into the two aspects of COVID-19 and actors,
  • DROP each of those terms into a separate search box, and then
  • If there are synonyms or related terms for my search words, I can include them with OR in between.

So my search would end up looking like this:

IBTD search screen with this in one box: covid-19 or coronavirus or pandemic     and this in another box: actors or actresses or performers

As I type my terms in, the database makes some suggestions.  This can really help you in coming up with synonyms.  But choose carefully!

Then I can look the results over, reading titles, and looking at the "Subjects" field for clues as to what the article is about.  If I'm interested in this title...

Record with the title "The ZOOM Where It Happens."

... I can click on the title to get to the full record, and read the abstract (summary) of the article, which we see here:

Full record of the article titled "The Zoom Where It Happens."

To read the full article, I can click on the HTML or PDF icon to view the full-text of it.

two icons: HTML full text and PDF full text

If I like a title that does not have HTML or PDF links to the full text, I can click on the MultiLink BSU button.  That automatically searches in our other databases to see if we have access to the article somewhere else.  See below for more information on using MultiLink.

Requesting a chapter of a book through Interlibrary Loan

During this time when isolation or quarantine can limit our visits to Bracken Library, it's good to know that the library collection can still be accessed.

You can request scanned document delivery of book chapters through the use of Interlibrary Loan (ILL).  While you cannot request that we scan an entire book for you (due to copyright restrictions), you can request one or two chapters as long as the pages add up to less than 15% of the book's content.

Here's an example of how you might do that.  Imagine you'd found this book in OneSearch:

OneSearch record for a book about Merce Cunninham, pointing to the "Look Inside" link

To find more out about the book title, click on the "Look Inside" link.  A pop-up window will open, showing the Table of Contents, as we see here:

Table of Contents pop-up window for book about Merce Cunningham

At this point, note down which one or two chapters look the most useful.  Perhaps you'd have decided you want the first chapter, and Chapter 11 about modernism.  In order to request those, first close the pop-up window, and then:

Click on the book title, to bring up the full OneSearch record.

Click on the "Request the item with Interlibrary Loan" link towards the bottom of the record to place a request for a scan of a couple chapters from the book.

A window will open up, asking you to log in with your BSU username and password.

  • If you're new to using Interlibrary Loan, you'll have to fill in a brief form with your contact information.

Then you'll see a form like this one below:

Much of the form is already filled out, with the identifying information about the book. 

You just need to fill out:

  • the Chapter Title field -- with the one or two chapters you'd like scanned.  It's okay to just specify the chapter numbers.
  • the Preferred By Date field -- with the date you'd prefer to have the scans by.  Bear in mind library staff have to physically scan the books. (i.e. It will take some time.)  As a general rule of thumb: add two days to today's date if you want it very soon.
  • the Notes field -- note again the chapters you want.  Adding a "please" is optional, but nice.

Then scroll down and click the Submit Request button.    You will get an email when the scanned chapters are ready, with a link to the scans.

Special things to consider:

  • Not all book records in OneSearch have a Look Inside link with the table of contents.  In that case, you can either:
    • See if you can find a table of contents for your book online by Googling the title, OR
    • Type "Please send me the Table of Contents" in the notes field of the Interlibrary Loan request, and a scan of the table of contents will be send to you so that you can choose the chapters you want.
  • Remember that copyright restrictions make it impossible for us to scan the entire book and send it to you.  We are limited to scanning less than 15% of the book's pages.

Questions?  Use the Ask a Librarian page to get help!

Video Project

Your assignment : Create a video focusing on the discipline of your choice that you have read about (actor, director, designer, etc). You will create your own story and record it.

To find information and ideas about the theatre discipline you’ve chosen:

Use the International Bibliography of Theatre and Dance. 

Using the example below as a guide, search on the theatre discipline you’re interested in using in your video.  The resulting articles may give you ideas for your project.

Advanced search page with  director  in one box and "job descriptions" or "job skills" in another box

To find possible scenes from a play to perform for your video:

First:  Understand that the library buildings are physically closed!  You will have to request electronic scans of portions of the books.

Use OneSearch. 

If you have a specific play in mind, search using that title.  (Putting quotes around it is a good idea.)  Then choose the “Library Catalog” limiter on the left.  That will limit results to titles we own.


Click on the title, to go to the full record for that play.

Full OneSearch record for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, pointing out the "Request via Interlibrary Loan" option.

For tips on filling out the form, see “Requesting a chapter of a book through Interlibrary Loan."

To find possible monologues to perform for your video:

The libraries also own collections of monologues.  You may want to request scans of monologues.  Bear in mind that you may need to ask that we scan the Table of Contents for a particular monologue collection so that you have an idea of which one you want to request.  You will use OneSearch again for this search.

OneSearch results screen showing first two records for a search on "monologues" with the Library Catalog limiter checked

As with the plays, you'll need to click on a title you are interested in, and look for the "Request the item with Interlibrary Loan" link to request that we make an electronic scan of the monologue you want.

For tips on filling out the form, see “Requesting a chapter of a book through Interlibrary Loan."

Final Project

Your assignment: For the Final Project, find a way for your discipline to coincide with theatre. Create a presentation (could be video, power point, paper, etc.) on how these two disciplines could work together.

Both OneSearch and the International Bibliography of Theatre & Dance could be useful for finding inspiration for this project.

Because OneSearch covers so many disciplines, it will be a good choice for a resource that allows you to make connections between varied subject areas.  Try using OneSearch to get ideas for how others have discussed overlapping your major area with the realm of theatre.

Consider using the Advanced Search form in OneSearch to give yourself more flexibility.  There's a link to the "Advanced Search" under the main OneSearch box on the libraries' homepage, as shown here:

Shows link to Advanced Search under main OneSearch

Then, in one of the search boxes, type in the name of your major, followed by a list of synonyms or related terms with the word OR in between.  Note: It's important to put the OR in ALL-CAPs.

Put the word "theatre" in another box, followed by a list of synonyms or related terms.

When you hit "Search" OneSearch will look for records for sources that have at least one of the words in the first box AND at least one of the words in the second.  This allows you to search broadly and find lots of records to look through.

Here are some examples, though you should experiment with the terms you use:

Advanced Search form with synonyms for theater in one box and synonyms and related terms for chemistry in the other box

Advanced search form in OneSearch with synonyms for architecture in one box and synonyms for theater in the other box

Advanced Search in OneSearch with synonyms for zoology in one box and synonyms for theater in the other box

Understand that your results will be widely varied; it will likely take a lot of reading through them to find something that inspires you.  And you're mainly just looking for inspiration here.

If you like, of course, you can also try the International Bibliography of Theatre & Dance.  In that case, you'd only need to search on words related to your major and you'd find where it intersects with the world of theatre.

MultiLink BSU: Helping you find the full text of the title you want

When you're using a database, and can't find a link to the full text of an article, look for a MultiLink BSU button.

MultiLink helps you to search the Libraries' other databases to see if the full text is available through another resource.  If it is available, MultiLink provides a link to the text of the article; and if it cannot find the full-text, MultiLink provides a link to Interlibrary Loan so that you can request that we get a copy of the article from another library.

To use MultiLink, click on the blue MultiLink BSU button.  A new OneSearch tab will open.  Look at the message just under the citation at the top of the record.  You may see one or more of these links:

  1. "Available Online."= We have the full article, readable online! Click there and then follow the link provided.
  2. "Available at __ Library."= We have print issues of the journal your article is in!  They're located in the library indicated.  Click there and look at the volumes/years listed to ensure we have the year you need.
  3. "Check for available services." = We don't have the full-text of that article.  Click there, and then choose "Request the item with Interlibrary Loan/ILLiad" to ask for a copy.

If you see "Available Online"  that means you can read the whole article electronically.

Here's what to do next:

  • Click on the "Available Online" link.
  • It will take you down to the "View Online" section of the record. 
  • There you'll see one or more links under "Full text availability."   
  • Click on a link and it should take you right to your article in a new tab.
  • If you don't see your article in the resulting tab, you may be on the more general web page for the journal your article is in.  Simply find the search box and do a search for the title of your article.  It should come right up.


If you see "Available at __ Library"  that means we have print issues of the journal your article is in.

Here's what to do next:

  • Click on the "Available at __ Library" link.
  • It will take you down to the "Get it: LOCATION" section of the record. 
  • There you'll see which library it's in (ex. Bracken), followed by a list of the years/volumes we own.
  • The Bound Periodicals at Bracken Librarian are located on 2 West, shelved alphabetically by the title of the journal.

If you see "Check for available options"  that means we don't have the article, but if you're affiliated with Ball State, you can request it through Interlibrary Loan.

Here's what to do next:

  • Click on the "Check for available options" link.
  • Scroll down to the "Links" section of the record. 
  • Click on the link "Request the item with Interlibrary Loan/ILLiad.
  • You'll be prompted to log in with your Ball State username and password.  Complete and submit the form.  You'll get an email when the article is available.  Consult the Interlibrary Loan FAQ for more information about this service.