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Remote Services & Resources: Students: Remote Learning

Salem Support

Off-Campus Access

Access the library's electronic resources anytime, anywhere! Just make sure to start your search from this research guide or the library's website at

When prompted to log in, use your MySalem credentials. Enter just your username and not the portion of your log in. Example: jane.doe NOT 

For problems with your username or password, please contact IT at or (336) 917-5899.

Library Staff can help with ...

  • Research Assistance
  • Resources Links 
  • Authenticating Off-Campus

Get Help from the library via email, chat, or online consultation.

Salem IT can help with ...

  • Device Support
  • Software
  • VPN

Contact IT at 

See the COVID-19 FAQs for Salem College Students for information about free or low cost internet access options.

Office of Academic Support can help with ...

  • Time Management
  • Study Habits
  • Test Anxiety


Questions about accessibility? Email

Salem College Writing Center

Located on the 3rd floor of Salem Library, the Writing Center offers face to face (synchronous) appointments this semester, as well as two virtual options available: 1) synchronous appointments (meet with consultant in real time) using Google Drive and potentially video or 2) you can get feedback asynchronously by submitting your paper via email. Visit their website for more information or to schedule appointments.

The QUEST Center

The QUEST Program is an academic support program created and maintained by Salem College faculty and staff in order to provide all Salem Academy & College students with an extra outlet of educational support in fields which require quantitative and scientific thinking, and technological skills.

Through the QUEST Program, all registered Salem students have access to online resources and in-person peer tutoring opportunities. All services are free to all enrolled Salem students. All QUEST tutors are recommended by the faculty who teach the supported courses.‚Äč

The QUEST Center is located on the 1st floor of Salem Library.

Remote Tools

Access Google Hangouts Chat & Meet via MySalem:

Google hangouts chat and meet icons

Tip: You can use online meetings as a virtual group study room to collaborate with classmates. 

Join a Google Hangouts Meeting

  1. From a Calendar Invite
    • Open event
    • Click "Join Hangouts" link

Schedule an Online Meeting 

  1. While logged in to your Salem Google Account, go to Google Calendar:
  2. Create a Meeting
  3. From the bottom left, select "More Options"
  4. Under location, select "Add Conferencing"
  5. Select your preferred option:
    • Hangouts Meet
    • Zoom Meeting
Help & Tutorials

Google Hangouts Meet Training and Help

Selected tutorials:

Access Zoom via MySalem:

Zoom conferencing icon

Tip: You can use online meetings as a virtual group study room to collaborate with classmates. 

Schedule a Meeting

  • To integrate zoom with Google Calendar and Chrome, download the Zoom Scheduler browser extension.

Brief video tutorials, each approximately 1 minute long:

Library Resources

Searching the Library's Catalog (Discovery)

  • The main search bar on the library's home page allows you to search for books, articles, films, and more all in one place. From the search results page, you can narrow your results by using the options on the left. In order to view an electronic resource from off-campus, you will be prompted to sign in with your MySalem credentials.

Searching Databases

  • There are two ways to access databases the library subscribes to on your behalf - through the direct link to databases or by using the Research Guides. Both of these options are linked directly from the library's home page. Research Guides are organized by subject or guide type and include resources recommended by librarians to help you with your research. The first time you select a database while off-campus, you will be prompted to sign in with your MySalem credentials.

Viewing Electronic Resources

  • To view electronic resources held by Salem Libraries while off-campus, simply select View Full Text or View eBook. You will then be taken to log in screen where you can enter your MySalem credentials. After logging in you should be taken directly to the item. If you have any problems, please email

Open Access is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment. - SPARC

The Research Process

research as process flow chart: idea, gen info, refine topic, research question, keyword search, adjust, share findings)


Research is an iterative process of inquiry that involves:

  • Finding information: picking a topic, developing a research question, and locating relevant sources
  • Evaluating information: assessing that selected sources are reliable, credible, and trustworthy 
  • Using information: ensuring that you are citing all sources found appropriately 



Before choosing a topic for your research, be sure that you understand the assignment. Look over any information that your professor gave you and ask for clarification if you are unsure about what is expected of you. Also, choose a topic that interests you.

When conducting academic research, topics work well when they are posed as a question. Good rule of thumb is that the shorter the paper, the more narrow the topic or question should be.  A good topic is: 

A subject that you are somewhat familiar with but not an expert on and that you would be interested in exploring further. Avoid topics that are:

  • Too broad: The Civil War
  • Too narrow: Women's hairstyles in 1942 
  • Have known conclusions: Harmful effects of secondhand cigarette smoke on health

You can use non-scholarly sources to locate more background Information about your topic in order to learn basic facts and relevant jargon.



Video: Narrowing your topic

Keep in mind that the research process is not linear, but cyclical - you may have to come back and tweek your research question as you start learning more about your topic.

A good research question:

  • Has more than one possible answer
  • Cannot be answered with a simple yes or no
  • Defines specific parameters of inquiry
  • Does not favor a particular answer
  • Is engaging and relevant

Example: If you are interested in global warming - that's way too broad for even a 15-20 page paper! You will need to narrow it down depending on the length of your paper. For an 8-10 page paper, a more manageable topic would be "What effect has global warming had on polar bears in the Arctic Circle and their ability to hunt for prey?" Here we have narrowed our topic down by specific parameters of population (polar bears), geography (Arctic Circle), and subcategory (hunting and prey).


Video: Identifying source types

Source evaluation is the process of examining sources that you wish to use and determining not only if they meet your information need but if they are also credible, reliable, and trustworthy. Take a look at the CRAAP Test document below to see what questions you should ask yourself when evaluating sources. 



Video: Primary and secondary sources

It is important to know if the source is primary or secondary. Primary and secondary sources can both strengthen and improve your research immensely by providing you with information to create an argument and defend your thesis statement. 

Primary sources are direct, firsthand accounts about a topic of interest, be it a person, work of art, event, or even an object. Primary sources generally are created at the same time as the topic of interest. An example of primary sources are diaries, photographs,and newspapers. Primary sources  allows you to form your own argument to defend your thesis, since the information you are using is unfiltered by another person's point of view. You’re able to critique an original work using your own ideas. 

Secondary sources refer to primary sources either by describing, discussing, examining, investigating, reviewing, analyzing, evaluating, or critiquing them. An example of secondary sources are monographs, journal or magazine articles about your subject of interest, biographies, literary critiques, or reviews. Secondary sources allow you to learn about new perspectives that you may not have even considered, and they can also strengthen your own argument in the assignment 



Video: Plagiarism

You must ALWAYS cite your sources or you may face accusations of plagiarism, which is an ethical violation of information use when one does not give credit where credit is due.

Committing plagiarism is a serious violation of the College's Honor Code and can result in your failure of an assignment or class or suspension or expulsion from the College as a whole. There are numerous resources available to you to help you cite appropriately including your department's Personal Librarian.

You always need to cite your source if you:

  • use a direct quote
  • paraphrase
  • use any information that isn't considered common knowledge
  • use statistics
  • use images or ideas from graphs, charts, or diagrams

Academic Support: Resources & Strategies

In these challenging times, most people are having to learn new, different, and, at times, creative ways to manage stress effectively.  If you find yourself feeling stressed as you are learning to navigate online learning successfully, this may be a good time to take stock of the stress management strategies in your tool kit.  Give yourself credit for the strategies and techniques that are already in your kit and consider adding one or more that you believe could be helpful to you.

  • Do all that you can to eat, sleep, and rest properly.
  • Manage your time effectively.  Make a schedule.  Plan.  When necessary, adjust your plans to get back on track.
  • Prioritize tasks and activities.
  • Stay connected with family and friends.
  • Set aside time for yourself.    
  • Devote time to hobbies and interests that help you to relax.
  • Consider participating in online yoga classes or other activities that can help you to relax.
  • Limit your intake of news.
  • Keep a positive attitude.
  • Focus on the things you can control rather than those you cannot. 
  • Utilize all of your campus resources.  Set aside a time each day to read your email to see what fun, interesting, and helpful activities and information awaits.

Although online classes may be different from what you have done in the past, you can learn the ins and outs of successful online learning!  As you begin the transition from in class to remote learning, take a deep breath and be patient with yourself. Also, try the following:

Before Classes Begin:

  • Plan and organize in the intervals of times that are most manageable for you. 
  • Collect the books and supplies you will need for each of your classes.
  • Identify a place for both classes and study that will be as free of distractions as possible.
  • Create a time plan—Set up a daily schedule for classes, study, and everything else that is important to you (i.e., eating, sleeping, connecting with family and friends, fitness/wellness, time for yourself).
  • Let family and friends know when you will be in class or studying.
  • If you will use any unfamiliar technology for classes, make several practice runs with family or friends.
  • If you have questions that you need answers to before classes begin, ask.
  • Consider whether online study groups might be helpful for you.

When Classes Begin:

  • Treat your online classes seriously.  Online classes are as real as own campus classes. 
  • For each class, sign in on time, participate as instructed, and stay online until the end of the class period.
  • Unless otherwise instructed, turn your cell phone and all social media platforms off during class.
  • Take notes during each class.
  • Learn and follow the process for asking questions in each class.
  • Keep track of course assignments and assignment due dates.
  • Be flexible and understanding.  For as wonderful as technology can be, there could be glitches—especially early on. 

During Out of Class Study:

  • Follow your course syllabus.
  • Study in a place that is as free of distractions as possible.
  • Turn off your cell phone and all social media platforms--unless you are using them to support your study.
  • Follow your study plan for each of your classes.
  • Study in the time blocks or intervals that work best for you.
  • Set goals for each study session.
  • Self-question.  Take full advantage of the opportunity to ask yourself about the information you recorded in your notes.
  • Throughout your study period, take short breaks to refuel and refresh.
  • Determine small, meaningful rewards for achieving study goals.
  • Review on a regular basis.



Time Management