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Freshman Writing: Library Research: Home

Basics of library resource use - online catalog, databases, topic selection; based on ISU's Freshman Writing courses, Eng 105 & 107

Research for Writing

English 105 and 107 is built upon the principles outlined in Robert Perrin's Handbook for College Research, 4th Edition, 2010. The course requires the use of MLA citation style; because MLA style was revised in 2009, you should not use earlier editions of the Handbook. For students who have to write but do not take this course, ISU librarians highly recommend that they purchase a copy of this book. It also includes APA and Chicago styles. Short sample papers are included for each style, which is very helpful!

Typically, students move from topic selection to learning about doing background research to help them narrow/focus their topic [the 'context' paper], and then on to learning about using their library's resources, usually with the help of one or more instruction sessions with a librarian, and sometimes a 'research/work' day in the Library's instructon room or on their own in the Library. They work through the basics of citation styles, note-taking, plagiarism, drafts and final drafts.

Library Instruction Objectives for Freshman Writing

Overall objectives of library instruction related to Freshman Writing:

  • Students will learn how to use online resources to help them CHOOSE -or- REFINE a topic for a traditional freshman comp research paper, and by extrapolation, learn how to ‘find out more’ about any topic of interest
  • Students will learn how to select and use the best online and traditional resources to support their topics
    • Resources will include
      • Traditional reference books
      • Online reference resources
      • The Online Catalog
      • Indexes to Articles (citation only, full-text, full-text & citation, articles only, various publication types
      • Specialized Library departments & Other Libraries: Government Documents; Special Collections; Vigo County Public Library.

  • Students will develop a strategy/PROCESS and a timeline (using the online Assignment Calculator) for completing the research component of the process (using the reproducible Library Research Planner)
  • Students will learn the difference between web/Internet-based resources (such as article databases and e-books) and general/open-access Internet sites
  • Students will learn how to evaluate Internet sites (primarily) and how to establish the authority of print resources (secondarily) [related to achieving critical thinking skills]

In addition to these objectives you may also be interested in viewing the National Council of Teachers of English Definition of 21st Century Literacies and the American Library Association, Association of College & Research Libraries' Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education

Library Research Promotional Video [Brigham Young Univ.]

During July 2010, take-offs of the Old Spice commercial went viral. Several were related to library research. This one is the best!

Marsha Miller

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Marsha Miller

I am semi-retired and working mostly behind-the-scenes on various projects.

I will not have office hours but you are welcome to email me.

The Subjects listed below have been taken over by other Research and Instruction Librarians. Please consult the list of Subject Specialists for updated listings. The list will show up until I am fully retired and complete transfer of all LibGuide elements has taken place.

812.237.2606 [be prepared to leave clear, succinct voicemail]

Library, Research and Instruction (Public Services), room 106
Subjects: Science