1. Start at the Libraries home page.
2. Click on the link that says "Databases" in the middle column.
3. Under "By type & format" you'll see "Dissertations." Click on that. This brings you to the page "Databases: Dissertations."
4. Click on "Dissertations & Theses."
5. Now you'll be sent to a page that says "ProQuest" in the left hand corner. (To skip steps 1-4, you could also just use this link: Jump straight to ProQuest page). Here, you can type in keywords for your topic under "Basic Search" and you're ready to go!
6. Next, you go to the "results" page. You have several options: You can read the Abstract, Preview, get the Full Text PDF, or Order a Copy.
What's really great about this is that you can get that PDF (for most dissertations after 1995), download it to your desktop, and print it out! If the dissertation you want is before 1995 and doesn't have a PDF available, you'll have to buy it (Order a Copy).
Let's say you're lucky - there's a PDF of it. But if you're like me, you need a hard copy...none of this fancy interweb stuff for you! You like to get your hands on cold, hard, paper. But this involves printing out 200 pages and your ink cartridge at home costs $30 a pop.
This is where ACB comes in handy. The Academic Computing Building (ACB) is the building between the Blaisdell fountain and the parking lot on 8th street. On the first floor is ACB is room 111, the computer lab. Each CGU student gets something like $30 of free printing a semester. So this is cheaper than you printing 300 page dissertations at home.
The downside is that printing large things in ACB is sort of a pain in the ass. The printer is shared, so your stuff can get mixed with other people's stuff, and it's finicky - it doesn't let you do jobs of over 100 pages at once, so you need to send it in smaller chunks.
Here's what you do:
1. Download the PDF you want.
2. Right click on the PDF for "print." Print in small batches. For example, 1-99, 100-199, 200-299, etc. Remember that the page numbers you type in won't necessarily correspond to the page numbers on the dissertation.
3. After you send it to print, a blue popup box will show in the center of your screen. It will tell you your current balance and how much your print job will cost.
For example, mine says: "You are printing 49 pages at a cost of $2.49"
4. You HAVE to hit "print" in that box for the doc to print. Sometimes, the box doesn't appear where you can see it, and you have to click on the pop-up balloon at the bottom toolbar, or close your applications, to see the box behind everything else.
5. If your thing doesn't print, first check for all those popup boxes and make sure you have enough money in your account to print the pages you sent. If that doesn't work, try logging off the computer. Sometimes that will make it print. If that doesn't work, check the printer - it may be out of paper. If none of that works, go bug the lab attendant.
6. When your account runs out of money, you just take cash up to the lab attendant and they'll add it to your account.
P.S. Remember, this is the chain for finding PDFs of dissertations that you want. Weirdly enough, you can find dissertations listed in other databases (such as the MLA database) that don't give you the PDF option, even though it is available - so you wouldn't know you could do this! So any time you see a diss you want, go through these steps to find out if you can get the PDF.
P.P.S. If you have to write an abstract for your dissertation and want some samples to look at, this is another source that's helpful.