Get your research groove ON!

It’s that nutty time of year when those last, large, looming assignments are in full gear. I have been meeting with many students lately about their research needs.

This post is to remind those of you performing research of a few things:

1. Relax!

Before you panic, step back and take a deep breath. Remember that you are the brightest and the best. Reread the assignment and move forward from there.

2. Get started TODAY!

Don’t wait until the last minute! We know you have several assignments and many other obligations. But, the longer you wait to start your research, the harder it may be to find appropriate resources. Allow enough time to receive items from the other Five Colleges or through Interlibrary Loan.

3. Know what you are looking for!

Before I start searching, I like to know exactly what I need to get started. Determine the following:

  • What is the assignment? (research paper, presentation, part of a portfolio for a semester long assignment)
  • What information do you need to complete the assignment? (i.e. information about the reproduction system of a zebra fish)
  • What TYPE of information is required? (i.e. how is the information packaged: books, journal articles, websites etc.)
  • 4. Before searching for information, organize you thoughts on paper.

    Use the following WORKSHEET to help organize those thoughts. To see an example of how to complete the worksheet, CLICK HERE.

    5. Search for information! (But, where???)

    Start at the libraries Subject Resource Guides (see subject list on right-hand side of page). We certainly don’t expect you to know where to look for information on a topic you are unfamiliar with. These guides provide a list of the best places to begin your research, from books to journal articles!

    6. Don’t struggle with your research!

    Librarians are available in all four of Smith’s libraries to help you get started with your research. Make an appointment TODAY. Also feel free to drop in at any of the libraries to get help on the fly.


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