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FWS (First Year Writing Seminar) Portal   Tags: fws  

Starting points for First-Year Writing Seminar students
Last Updated: Jan 28, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Home Print Page


O'Neill Library EntranceWelcome to the FWS Portal, your personal entry point to the resources of the BC Libraries.

To the right above are links to helpful research guides designed by BC Libraries' reference staff.

Below that are links to useful search interfaces for a variety of source materials.

Click on the "FWS Guides" tab to find a guide adapted to your course. If there is no guide listed for your course, use the "Step by Step" guide listed on this page, or feel free to browse other course-specific guides.

Bookmark this page in your browser, and use it as an entry point until you become more familiar with the structure of the library website.


For Instructors

Library Instruction Sessions can now be scheduled online through LibCal. Please note, there are different links for FWS instruction sessions and all other instruction sessions.

Though we prefer 2 weeks’ advance notice, we will do our best to accommodate shorter notice when possible. We encourage you to be present during the instruction session so that the students can also benefit from your perspective and input. If this session will be tied to an assignment - something that has proven to be very effective for student learning in this setting - please share it with the Librarian who will be teaching the class. We look forward to working with you!

For more information about the FWS Library Instruction program contact Kwasi Sarkodie-Mensah ( or Syed Khan (

Key Resources

Click on the  to learn why to use a resource.

  • Holmes Library Catalog  
    Holmes is the online catalog of Boston College Library holdings. It tells you what we own, which library it is in, and how to find it.
  • Subject Specific Databases  
    Link to a list of databases accessible to you through the BC Library website. (Though they are expensive, they are free to you; your tuition has paid for access.)
  • Academic Onefile  
    A multidisciplinary database with peer reviewed fulltext articles. Coverage includes physical sciences, technology, medicine, social sciences, the arts, theology, literature and other subjects.
  • JSTOR  
    The JSTOR project is an interdisciplinary digital archive of fully searchable back issues of scholarly journals. The most recently published issues (past 3-5 years) are not available.
  • Lexis Nexis Academic  
    A full-text database of national and international news sources (including newspapers, industry news, and broadcast transcripts) as well as legal research.
  • CQ Researcher  
    Each weekly CQ Researcher publication provides an overview of a single "hot" economic, political or social issue. Each issue includes charts, graphs and sidebar articles, a pro-con feature, a chronology, lengthy bibliographies and a list of contacts.
  • Facts on File  
    Facts on File presents the full text of Facts On File World News Digest since 1940, plus a live newsfeed from Reuters® news wire and thousands of in-depth features, images, charts, and primary documents. Additional hyperlinks connect researchers to relevant information from three other databases: Issues & Controversies; Today's Science, and the World Almanac Reference Database, including the World Almanac Encyclopedia.
  • Education Research Complete  
    Education research complete is an up-to-date and comprehensive database of research materials covering a broad range of education, including pre-K, K-12, public, private, post-secondary, and international.
  • PsycINFO  
    PsycINFO provides access to international scholarly literature in psychology and related disciplines. It indexes more than 8 million cited references in 185,000 journal articles, books, and book chapters.
  • Sociological Abstracts  
    Indexes the international scholarly literature in sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences. Indexed journals number in the thousands.

Get Help

  • Ask the FAQ  

    Quick answers to common questions.
  • Chat with a Librarian 24/7  
  • Text a Librarian

    Text 617-229-5222 for quick answers during reference hours.
  • Email a Librarian  
  • Call a Librarian  

    617-552-4472: O'Neill reference desk.
  • Find a Subject Librarian  

Fresh Ink: Essays from Boston College's First-Year Writing Seminar

Your instructor has likely informed you that there is an avenue for publishing your writing in FWS: Fresh Ink. It is an annual publication, in print from 1998 to 2010, and electronic since then.

Check out the remarkable range of subjects in the most recent edition, for inspiration in in your own writing - from an analysis of stereotyping of women in advertisements, to a researched report on Singapore's rise to power, to a narrative about growing up Hispanic without Spanish.


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