Rolfing Unshelved

Books, news, and events from TIU's Rolfing Library

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Audiobooks for the (Long) Drive Home

audiobookThis is it! You’re in your last week of school for the semester. Your papers and projects are done, those late nights studying in Waybright are about to pay off, and the tinsel-strewn twinkle lights at the end of the tunnel are coming into clearer focus. And as you’re “final”-izing your exams and packing your bags for upcoming travels, library resources are probably the last thing on your mind. (Well, unless you have books that are overdue… but that’s another story altogether.) However, if you’re like me, you’re looking at a pretty long and lonely trek back home for the holidays (15 hours in my case) — and the prospect of having to hunt for a new radio station every 50 miles isn’t all that appealing. Well, Rolfing yet again can come to the rescue!

If you hang a right after coming through the library’s main entrance, you’ll notice four shelves of white plastic cases right beside the Blu-Ray discs. Within these cases reside CD recordings of a wide variety of books: everything from a self-paced course in Hindi to the collected works of Agatha Christie. If you can’t find anything that piques your interest (or if your car doesn’t happen to have a CD player), surf on over to the Rolfing website and scroll down to the big blue “OverDrive” box in the lower right-hand corner. We subscribe to a number of digital versions of audiobooks in addition to our physical holdings — and our collection continues to grow. There are two things I especially like about OverDrive: first, you can’t rack up a fine because when your two weeks are up the title’s simply taken out of your list, and second, OverDrive has the Media Console, their app that allows you to take your tales with you wherever you go.

From all of us here at Rolfing Memorial Library, have a wonderful break, and may God bless you richly as we celebrate the birth of His Son! See you in January!


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Citations: The “Finishing Touches” That Can Make or Break Your Paper (Part 2 of 2)

papersLast time, we talked about why citations are important, and what different styles are available for you to use. At this point, you’re probably asking, “So, which style guide should I use in my discipline here at TIU? I’m not exactly sure where I stand in that list that you mentioned last time.” Well, I can answer that question for you!

  •  Chicago:
    • Humanities: Most TEDS and TGS students, except for those listed below.
    • Social Science: PhD students in the EDS and ICS programs, as well as DMin students.
  • APA: Counseling Psychology, MA in Teaching, and MEd in Learning students.
  • SBL: PhD students in THS (OT and NT), and students in Bible classes.
  • MLA: Students in literature or language programs (mostly at the undergraduate level).
  • If in doubt, ask your professor. He or she will be able to advise you on which style to use for a particular paper.

Graduate students, one more thing to keep in mind: Trinity has its own specific style guideRemember, the TIU guide takes precedence over Chicago and SBL styles.

So, at this point, we’ve gone over why citations are important. We’ve talked about why different ones exist. We’ve even talked about which specific one you should use. Hopefully, you as a clever Trinity student have noticed that I’ve overlooked one small but rather significant area: how actually to implement the format. There’s a really great reason why, too: I don’t have to. Because, in the immortal (and trademarked) words of the Apple Corporation, “There’s an app for that.”  Actually, there are multiple apps. But there’s one in particular that we here at Rolfing especially encourage students to use: Zotero. It’s a free download, and it works directly with both your browser and your word processing program in order to cite sources directly and automatically. Plus, they support any citation style you could ever think about using here at TIU. If you’re not particularly technically agile, feel free to attend one of the Zotero workshops we sponsor every semester and we’ll get you started.

If you’re still looking for more general formatting guidance, a number other resources are at your disposal:

  • Rolfing offers a number of online tutorials, guiding you step-by-step through the entire writing process — everything from finding appropriate sources to getting just the right format in Microsoft Word.
  • Purdue University’s English Department has perhaps the best known formatting resource on the web: the Online Writing Lab (OWL). If you can’t find your answer there, you’re really getting deep into your paper, and you need to head over to…
  • Publication Style Manuals for APAChicago (and Turabian), SBL, and MLA formats.
  • And, if all else fails, contact a reference librarian, and we can help point you in the right direction!

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Citations: The “Finishing Touches” That Can Make or Break Your Paper (Part 1 of 2)

papersYou’ve done countless hours of research. Your arguments are rock solid. Your prose will make your professor weep in ecstasy. The world will be a better place for the thoughts that you are about to share with it. And now you’re forced to come down from the mountain so that you can muck through the swampy terrain of source formatting. “Seriously,” you think, “why do I even need to bother with this stuff? It takes up valuable time that I could be spending catching up on all the sleep I’ve missed from writing this paper. Besides, do people really even look through a reference list? And what’s up with all these different styles? After all these years, can’t they just agree on one standard that everybody can use?”

Believe me, friend, I’ve been there with you. I’ve spent many long evenings holed up in the back of the library, laboring over footnotes and endnotes. But as I’ve continued my studies, I’ve come to respect — and, dare I say, even appreciate — the citation process. And with that in mind, I share with you now a few nuggets of rationale and strategy that I’ve discovered.

First of all, as you’ve undoubtedly wondered over your years of academic training (as I know I have), why do we bother citing sources in the first place? There are actually a number of reasons:

  • To give credit where credit is due. We’ve all heard the plagiarism horror stories; in the Western educational model, taking ideas that aren’t your own is just as ethically wrong as stealing property that isn’t yours. By citing your sources, you allow those who discovered and/or created these great ideas to retain ownership of them.
  • To demonstrate that these ideas aren’t merely your own. As Derek Sivers demonstrates in his Ted Talk, one guy dancing in a field is a curiosity that people laugh at — but a group of people dancing in a field is a movement that people run to join. By citing those who agree with your ideas, you’re more likely to start a movement.
  • To help others in their research. This is undoubtedly the reason I’ve become such a fan of citations — they make my own research process much, much easier. Online database searches can often be hit-or-miss, but if I find an article that shares my specific focus, all I have to do is look through its reference list and I unlock a storehouse filled with quality, on-topic sources.

So at this point, you may be grudgingly willing to admit that citations are important. But why are there so many blessed styles? Why can’t we just have one standard format? The answer is apparent if we think of a citation style as a language. Just as a language develops and transforms over years of use, so too does a citation system. Likewise, the reason that the language develops and transforms is to accommodate certain important ideas — and it’s the same with citations. By putting the information in the order and position that it does, each system highlights what’s important to the discipline in which it’s used (and I only mention the main styles here, for the purposes of brevity):

  • Modern Language Association (MLA). This style is used in the fields of language and humanities, in which the person or organization speaking and/or coming up with the ideas is important to consider during analysis. Thus, they’re given prime real estate when it comes to citations.
  • American Psychological Association (APA). Psychologists, sociologists, and educators use this style; since their research needs to reflect the most up-to-date findings in the field, the date of the source is given precedence.
  • Chicago/Turabian. Since this style is used both by those in humanities and social sciences, both author and date are given equal weight in citations. Also, because it encompasses two disciplines, Chicago actually has two separate styles: humanities incorporates footnotes, while the social sciences incorporates a parenthetical, author-date format. (If you’re wondering, the Society of Biblical Literature [SBL] is a derivative of the Chicago humanities style.)

Need some one-on-one assistance? Contact the library or visit the reference desk!

Stay tuned — in the next installment, we’ll be talking about which style you should use, and what resources Rolfing has to assist you in your efforts!

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Book Review: The Suffering and Victorious Christ

Does American Christology suffer from cultural blinders?

I would imagine that there are a number of character-images of Jesus and theological perspectives that are informed by the multitude of cultural contexts that are present in America. Is this wrong? Are we short-handed by it? Are there deficiencies in our views which ought to be examined for a possibly better construction? I think that these are valid questions to be asking; some of our prominent evangelical thinkers have posed their own questions and have produced this impressive work as a result.

Brandon O’Brien wrote in a recent Christianity Today book review that “[m]ost Americans… like our Jesus triumphant and our Christianity muscular.” In the book he’s reviewing, The Suffering and Victorious Christ: Toward a More Compassionate Christology, Richard Mouw and our own Douglas Sweeney address this deficiency in American Christology. As O’Brien explains, the prevailing issue is how “we struggle to express how Christ stands in solidarity with the destitute, diseased, and disenfranchised because we fixate on the glorified Lord and forget the suffering Savior.”

Book PreviewO’Brien explains how the authors mine through their own traditions of Lutheranism and Calvinism, as well as a spectrum of minority 19th-century theological traditions, in search of a more compassionate Christology. He points out that Mouw and Sweeney model how to give a faithful critique of one’s own tradition, and still they identify where there are limits. Humble and constructive methods of critique allow for the sharing of certain strengths — found among Japanese and African-American Christian traditions — that rightly inform mainstream American Christology to be more compassionate.

There is no doubt that this is an academic volume, with its complex themes and scholastic vernacular. However, O’Brien states that this is the best kind of academic book because it deals with issues that are relevant and important to Christians outside of the academy. If you’re looking for a recent work that engages contemporary Christology critically and constructively, then I would encourage you to check this one out.

Editor’s Note: Two more copies of The Suffering and Victorious Christ will hit Rolfing’s shelves soon!