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History, Bradshaw-Book Critique Assignment: Find Books

What is a Monograph? And Other Criteria For Choosing a Book

Monograph-According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a monograph is "..a detailed written study of a single specialized topic". It should have a logical progression or story, such as a biography. For instance, a collection of essays is NOT a monograph.

And don't forget other parameters for choosing a book: date, must be from a university press, and over 100 pages in length! Below are two options for books through our Libraries. 

Finding books and e-books in the Library Catalog

Want to see if we have a book on your topic? Or, need to check if we have a textbook on reserve at one of our Libraries? Search here:

Here at Chaffey, we have access to over 90,000 print books at our Libraries and full-text access to over 200,000 ebooks online! Search the Catalog (above) for print books.

Print Books - Some hints about assessing print books to see if it meets the criteria for the book critique assignment.....                                  

Screenshot of results of a search in the library catalog

  • Status-If status listed is Available, book should be on our shelves. If other status such as Checked Out or Lost listed, item may not be available right away.
  • Author-Is there an author listed or only an editor listed after the book title? If an editor, it most like is NOT a monograph!
  • Publisher-Date of Publication as well as Publisher Name in this section. Check date and whether it is from a university press.
  • Call Number- A book's/item's address in our Libraries. Needed to find on the shelf at Rancho site or to request from the front desk if on Reserve at any of our sites.
  • Page Count-Click on Cover art for a title to see more detailed information about a book. Look for the Description section on this next page as this is where the number of pages in a book is listed.

 Chaffey ID required for check-out of books and use of Reserve items.

E-books- No call number listed and status shows Available Online  Then, item is an e-book! Make a note of Title/Author, then search in our eBook Collection. (See right column for more about navigating our eBooks.)

Using eBook Collection Effectively

  • Includes access to over 200,000 full-text eBooks, many by academic and university presses published in the past ten years
  • Good for reliable background information on broad topics.

Click to login using MyChaffey credentials.

Type in search term(s) and press the Search button. 

Hint: Scan the titles/subjects listed for ebooks in your results to more quickly locate items more relevant to your topic.

Sample results set in ebook Collection


  • The Subjects area can also be a good place to look for other search terms related to your topic.
  • Scan the By: section right under the book title for date, author and publisher information. Remember, if it list an editor, it most likely is not a monograph!
  • Use the Table of Contents link to scan an ebook for promising sections/chapters. Some of the sections have plus signs (+) next to them; click on the plus sign to view smaller sections. Hint: Click on the final section or chapter listed to determine page count of a book.
  • Or click on the PDF Full Text link and the book will open up with a Table of Contents available on the left-hand side.

To move between pages of a book, use the navigation buttons at the bottom of the webpage. There are icons for printing, downloading, emailing and citing  in the Tools above the open book. 

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