Research Guides

Do you need help researching a paper? We’re here to help. Check out our research guides below.

Research is Key to Academic Excellence

Knowing how to pick a topic and conduct good research are essential to writing a good paper for any subject. In the video below, you will learn how to do that!

Picking a Topic

Once you have identified your topic and identified keywords for your research, it’s time to find background information on your topic, search the library’s databases, and search the library’s catalogs.

Background information sources help you understand the broader context of your research and tell you in general terms what is known about your topic. Sources of this type of information include encyclopedias, dictionaries, textbooks, book chapters, and authoritative websites.

Online Encyclopedias & Dictionaries
A great online collection of reference books is Gale Virtual Reference Library.

Book Chapters from non-reference books
A good online source for accessing chapters of books is: JSTOR


Easley Library Databases help you find articles from magazines, scholarly journals, and newspapers as well as videos, interviews, and podcasts.  Your professor will instruct you as to what type of sources you need, how many of each type, and the time period in which they were published. Need help using the Easley library database? We have you covered, check out our how-to guide to using Easley Library’s databases.

Search Databases

Search Databases with Keywords


The Easley Library Catalog helps you find what print books and e-books the library has as well as print journals and DVDs.  You can search for books in our Appalachian College Association Consortium libraries as well.

The World Catalog helps you discover other books that have been published that the library does not have.

Books at other libraries in Easley Library’s Catalog or the World Catalog can be requested through Easley Library’s Inter-library loan.

Need help finding your way around Easley Library’s Catalog? We have you covered with a how-to guide for you there too.

NOTE:  Remember to look at the “Bibliography” or “Further Reading” section at the end of all of your sources.  Then look up these sources in either an article database or library catalog to discover if they will fit your topic.  By doing this you can develop a surprisingly large number of sources in a relatively short amount of time.

Do I only apply once?

  • No. Students must apply each academic year for the fall semester and submit the necessary documents.

Do I have to take the classes specified in the Associate's Degree tracks as they are listed on the information sheet?

  • No. Students may take any of the courses that are offered in a given term.

Where do I find the textbook listing, and where do I purchase the books?

  • Log in to myBU, and under the "Student" tab, you will find a list of the textbooks required (if any) for each course. Students are responsible for purchasing their own textbooks.

How long is a semester?

  • Our semesters are divided into two 8-week terms.

Is there an orientation?

  • Yes. Students can attend an orientation session that explains how to access courses, how to register for classes, and answers other questions.

Where can I find a course description?

Does the student need to take the SAT or ACT in order to take Dual Enrollment classes?

  • No. If a student decides to study at BU full time, BU is currently test-optional for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle.

Are the classes live? Do students need to log in and participate at certain times?

  • Classes are offered online, so a student can log-on and study at their convenience and their own pace. Students have assignments due each week; you can complete your assignments at any point in time before the deadline.

Does an Early College student need to come to campus for anything?

  • No. However, we would love to have you visit our campus if you are interested in continuing with traditional on-campus study. Students who complete their associate's degree have the option to walk at our commencement ceremony.

Are Early College students able to receive Financial Aid?

  • No. However, Early College courses are very affordable compared to other options. The cost for an online Dual Enrollment course is $100 per credit hour.

How do transferring credits work?

  • Each College or University completes a transcript review in order to decide which courses transfer. Sticking to general education classes generally makes transferring credits simple. All Early College courses at Bluefield University are general education classes that should transfer to another accredited institution.

Is an Early College student considered, and treated, as a transfer student when they become a full-time college student if they have earned enough credits to be a Junior?

  • No. Since they have not graduated from high school, they are considered a first-time college student regardless of how many credits transfer. However, by transferring credits when they enroll as a full-time student, they will have to take fewer classes to receive their bachelor's degree, which shortens the length of time to earn the degree.

Can I speak to someone if I have more questions?

  • Yes. Please contact the Office of Admissions by email or you can call them at 276.326.4231


Meet our core Counseling faculty

Dr. Challen Mabry

Assistant Professor of Counseling

Dr. Kristen Moran

Associate Professor of Counseling

Brandy Smith

Assistant Professor of Education & Counseling,
Director of the Master of Arts in Counseling Program,
Title IX Confidential Counselor

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