Librarians provide discipline-specific research instruction for classes. Research instruction is developed with faculty to create a session or series of sessions for a particular class or assignment. These sessions can include demonstrations of electronic resources, evaluation of resources, internet searching, and more. Most of our instruction provides hands-on, active, and collaborative learning. Librarians will be glad to teach in the library instruction room or in your classroom. A much more in-depth approach to research within a discipline can be explored in a customized and linked one-credit library course (LIB 194 Special Topics in Research).
Faculty interested in either scheduling a research instruction session, working with a librarian to create an effective research assignment or in creating a customized one-credit course can use our online instruction request form or call the reference desk at 360.383.3285. Also, be sure to check the guide to sharing library resources.
- The more advance notice we have, the better. With advanced notice, we can schedule your instruction, assign a librarian and reserve the instruction lab.
- It is always helpful for the librarian to communicate with you directly to discuss desired outcomes, the research assignment and any needed assessments.
- It is helpful to provide your syllabus and a copy of the research assignment to the librarian. Any other information about the course or specific class will be appreciated.
- Please plan to be present during the library instruction session.
Research instruction is most successful when it is delivered at the "point of need," that is, when there is a research assignment. With research instruction, your students will be more successful in completing a research assignment, comfortable with the research process and information-literate.
Research instruction content
Instructional outcomes are often best achieved through a short series of instruction sessions over the quarter. For example, the first session might cover library databases and search terms, a second session might include evaluation of resources, and a third session might include information on plagiarism and citation styles. Each of these sessions could be coordinated with your class syllabus. Here are some of the areas we can cover in our sessions either as individual topics or as a combination:
- Library tour, overview of the library website, and library services
- The research process, formulating a thesis, and keyword searching
- Topic exploration and background sources
- Online catalog and searching basics (including Boolean logic)
- Effective periodical database searching
- Identifying differences between scholarly, popular, and trade articles, and between primary and secondary sources
- Effective Internet searching and website evaluation
- Plagiarism issues and citation styles
Creating effecting library assignments
A librarian is also available to meet with you to create an effective assignment or to provide feedback on research assignments. Call the reference desk at 360.383.3285 to make an appointment with a librarian.
These are some handouts the library has prepared for students. They are also available by the Reference Desk. Please encourage your students to stop by and take the ones they need.
- Credibility Criteria ASPECT
- Evaluating Resources - ORCAS
- Evaluation Checklist
- Starting the Research Process - OneSearch
- Research Databases
- Electronic Resources
- Scholarly v Popular
Plagiarism may occur due to a lack of knowledge of proper citation practices or when students copy the work of others or purchase papers outright. Certainly the ease of digital data sharing contributes to the problem.
The library is happy to help instructors in teaching their students about the issues surrounding plagiarism. We can provide instruction in the library or in your classroom, and we have resources for students on our website about plagiarism, its consequences, and proper citation methods. We can also help you write nearly plagiarism-proof assignments.
Our best resources are the four IRIS tutorial modules on avoiding plagiarism and doing citations properly:
Plagiarism detection isn't easy but the the library can help instructors if they suspect someone has plagiarized. Students may copy from published and online works, or from other students. Changes in tone, voice, or in writing level can be clues. One approach to try when suspecting a passage or paper has been copied is to Google it. Paste a sentence or even an entire paragraph into Google and see if it finds a link. Another is to use unique language from the work for a full-text search in some of the library's periodical and research databases.
- Library Instruction Faculty Evaluation (Faculty only)