Kingwood College Library

PC Operating Systems

Assignment Guide | ITSC 1405 | Professor Priscilla Milam

The best library assignments are ones that use a variety of resources including books, newspaper and journal articles, internet sites, and even videos or audiocassettes. We encourage you to use all of these sources for this paper. Books should provide some of the best information for a historic topic. You may apply for a library card and request materials online. We hope you will take full advantage of the many resources our libraries offer.

Please contact or Dr. Milam with any questions you may have during your research.



Librarian talk . . . Getting Started!

As you begin, narrow your topic to a size that you can manage.  Consider keywords that will help you find the information you need. Use these keywords for locating information in the library catalog, electronic databases, and on the Internet.

Sample Keywords:
Operating systems; Windows 2000; Unix; Windows Operating systems


Your research paper should be type written and the content (not including the cover page and the Works Cited page) no less than two (2) pages and no more than five (5) pages. Your cover page should indicate your topic, your name, course number and date submitted. Please email the paper using WebCT email. Grading will be based on content and depth of your review. Please follow correct grammar rules and ensure correct spelling.

Topic: Compare and Contrast The UNIX operating System with that of Windows 2000.

Your report should cover the following information from the perspective that your reader is a novice to both operating systems.

  1. What do all general purpose operating systems have in common?
  2. How do each of the systems handle user authentication?
  3. Compare and Contrast how I/O processes are handled.
  4. Give brief definitions of the following terms: BIOS, kernel, devise drivers, real-time systems, multi-user systems and multitasking
  5. Finally, what are your general thoughts on the two systems?

Include a "Works Cited" page. Use MLA format  for your footnotes and your "Works Cited" page. There are numerous articles and information resources available from the library here on campus, publications and the Internet itself.

A page is defined as:



Librarian Talk . . . Books!

Apply online for a library card.   Use your card to 
1) Place a Hold on a book, have it sent to the library closest to you 
2) Access journal and newspaper databases from home, and 
3) Access Online Book Database (NetLibrary).
The catalog is online at
Online books (database paid for by our libraries) are available at  Use your library card to log in.  "Check out" online books for 24 hours.

Reference Books can give you an overview of the topic as you get started.  Books on the specific operating system will offer details.  Be sure the book is at least as current as the operating system!

REF QA76.15 .E48 | Encyclopedia of Computer Science.  London: Nature, 2000.
REF QA76.15 .E53 | Encyclopedia of Computers and Computer History.  Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2001.
REF QA76.15 .F345 | Facts on File Dictionary of Computer Science.  New York: Facts on File, 2001.




Librarian Talk . . . Finding Journal and Newspaper Articles!  

Electronic databases are purchased by the libraries for your research use. To find articles in newspapers and journals, letters, reference books, illustrations, photographs and more, use your updated library card to login to the following databases. If you find an interesting article that is not full-text, please give the correct bibliographic information to our and they will see that you get the article. They will need full bibliographic information - and your name and address. Send your phone number as well, so they can contact you if they need to. There is some overlap of articles in the following databases. However, we encourage you to use more than one. All are excellent sources for this topic. 
HINT: For a full list of article databases, go to and use your library card to access these full-text databases from home.


Computer Source | Full-text articles from computer journals
PA Research II/ProQuest | Full-text articles from a variety of journals, often less technical than Computer Source.



Librarian Talk . . . the Internet!

The Internet will be a wonderful source of original documents. Browse the sites we have suggest below. Remember, you do want to find reputable sites. Look at: 

  1. Accuracy - The information should be researched and show proof that it has been.
  2. Source - Who wrote the information? Look at the domain.  .edu .gov. org .net are valid research sources.
  3. Authority - What are the author's credentials?  (Don't quote from another college freshman's paper.)
  4. Coverage - Does the page have the information you need for your research?
  5. Objectivity - If a work is bias, use it - just make sure your professor knows YOU know. And offer both sides of issues, where applicable.

UNACCEPTABLE SOURCE EXAMPLE: This site argues for one operating system over the other. But there is nothing we can see that tells you author, dates, publisher or any of the other needed information.  As it stands, it cannot be used in an academic research paper.


Unix Guru Universe | Check out the beginners section.
Deciding Factors from CIO Magazine | A comparative article.
Microsoft Windows 2000 | Product information from Microsoft.
WhatIs | IT specific encyclopedia.
Google | Or do your own search. Try keywords: unix windows 2000 comparison


Citing Sources Using the Library MLA Style Guide | Kingwood College library guide. Examples of both paper and electronic citations.

Misuse of Sources | Harvard University excellent brief essay on how to avoid plagiarism. Excellent list of 'how to' and 'how to avoid'.

Online Tutoring | Kingwood College faculty offer free tutoring via email.  They will email or call with answers to your questions.

Academic Support Center   |   Check our ASC hours for in-house tutoring.

Attach your paper to and email to , Assistant Dean. Dr. Terry or one of the writing tutors will read through your paper and make brief comments on your paper and return it to you.

REMEMBER, the expert on this paper is your Professor Milam.

Talk to a librarian live during library hours. Leave an email during off
hours and the library will email you back, ASAP.

 Kingwood College Library | District Library | NHMCCD Distance Learning  | |     August 8,  2002