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Library Instruction Resources: Instruction Menu

Instruction Menu

Not sure what we can teach, or how long a topic will take? The list below show our most popular topics by level - first year, lower division, upper division and graduate level. The points covered columns help explains our key objectives for the topics.

The times listed below are an estimate based on a combination of instruction and hands on practice and may vary. In collaboration with a librarian, it is possible to maximize class time by flipping the instruction component using videos or exercises completed prior to the library instruction session.

This is not an exhaustive list; if you would like other resources or topics addressed, we'd be happy to discuss with you.

Instruction by Levels

Topic Time Required Points Covered Example Activities
Understand the research process 20 minutes
  • Identifying the parts of the research process
  • Understanding research as a process of inquiry and critical thinking
 
Read a scholarly article 20 minutes
  • Identifying characteristics of scholarly articles
  • Discussing the peer review process
 
Search the catalog 15 minutes
  • Finding books and videos on a topic
  • Using call numbers to locate items, identifying links to online content and using interlibrary loan links for content we do not own
 

 

Topic Time Required Points Covered Example Activities
Brainstorm research topics 20 minutes
  • Brainstorming ideas with the help of concept mapping and/or topic development databases
  • Narrowing or broadening topic to fit the scope of the assignment
 
Create a search strategy 20 minutes
  • Identifying keywords and developing search terms
  • Choosing a search tool
  • Using Boolean operators
 
Identify source types 25 minutes
  • Comparing and distinguishing between: scholarly and popular articles; primary vs. secondary; research articles and literature reviews, etc.
 
Evaluate source credibility 45 minutes
  • Identifying characteristics of credibility of websites
 
Search databases for articles 20 minutes
  • Search for articles in interdisciplinary databases (i.e. Academic Search Complete)
  • Finding full-text & interlibrary loan articles
  • Databases tools: email, abstract, subject terms, thesaurus, cite, save, etc.
 
Manage citations 20 minutes
  • Finding citation information in source
  • Locating style guides appropriate for the discipline
 
Research practice with a librarian Varies
  • Students research while a librarian in available to answer questions
 

 

Topic Time Required Points Covered Example Activities
Formulate research questions 20 minutes
  • Breaking a topic down to potential research questions
 
Create a search strategy 20 minutes
  • Developing a search strategy appropriate to the investigative methods in the discipline
  • Selecting discipline-specific keywords and search terms
  • Choosing an appropriate search tool
 
Identify subject-specific source types 15 minutes
  • Identifying subject-specific source types, professional organizations and publishers relevant to discipline
 
Search a subject-specific database 30 minutes
  • Searching for topics in subject-specific databases
  • Using advanced search techniques and subject-specific search techniques
 
Track the literature 20 minutes
  • Reading and interpreting citations from an article
  • Tracking the literature through mining references and articles citing a work
 
Find primary sources 30 minutes
  • Searching primary source databases
  • Locating online collections of primary sources
 
Research practice with a librarian Varies
  • Students research while a librarian is available to answer questions
 

 

Topic Time Required Points Covered Example Activities
Select a thesis/research topic 20 minutes
  • Finding gaps in the literature (i.e. searching dissertations and other existing research)
 
Create a search strategy 20 minutes
  • Developing a search strategy appropriate to the investigative methods in the discipline
  • Selecting discipline-specific keywords and search terms
  • Choosing appropriate search tools and understanding differences between them
 
Search a specialized database 30 minutes
  • Searching for topics in discipline-specific or specialized databases
  • Using advanced search techniques and subject-specific search techniques
 
Track the literature 20 minutes
  • Tracking the literature through mining references and articles citing a work (i.e. Google Scholar, Scopus, Web of Science)
 
Special topics Varies
  • Finding data
  • Citation management tools
  • Finding psychological tests and measurements
  • Finding grants and other funding sources
 

 

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