General ResourcesBook Catalog
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Information Literacy Seminars are available on a variety of levels and are tailored to the specific needs of the course and assignment. To schedule one of these instructional sessions, instructors can use this link, contact their Liaison Librarian, or can call the Reference Desk at 886-6478.
Library classes can be scheduled as far in advance of the session as the instructor prefers. To insure your preferred date, make your request as soon as possible. Seminars must be requested at least 24 hours in advance.
For iPad or technology sessions, please use this form. Sessions can be tailored to your needs.
Learning Commons Report Request
This form is used to request specific information about a student’s tutoring record. Please allow 3-5 days for processing. Due to FERPA restrictions information may not be available for all students. If you are requesting 20 or more reports, please contact Theresa Spanella directly. Otherwise, submit one form per request.
Subject Liaisons /Librarians can help you with course specific information literacy sessions, subject specific reference questions, orders for books and other materials in your subject area, and generally keeping you informed about library resources and services. While you may contact any library staff member with a question, think of your liaison as you individual go-to person for anything library related.
Faculty and Staff Teaching and Learning Workshops
The library is piloting professional development workshops for faculty and staff this fall. These workshops cover a wide range of topics relevant to teaching and learning.
Writing TipsChoosing Topics
1. Brainstorm possible topic ideas
- Consider your personal interests.
- Engage in conversations in class or with classmates.
- Read articles in encyclopedias or dictionaries and review class readings.
- Browse recent issues of journals or magazines from the Current Periodicals shelves, located to the left of the Circulation Desk when you enter the Library.
- Browse the shelves for books on your subject (see the Library of Congress Classification System listing to know where to look).
2. Review assignment requirements
- What kind of assignment is it – 5 minute oral presentation, 10 page paper, 50 page paper?
- How much information do you need?
- Does it need to be recent information?
- What types of publications do you want to read – newspaper articles, books, journal articles, diaries, trade publications?
- What formats do you need – visual, audio, printed, electronic?
- Is point of view an issue? Do you need opinions?
- How much time do you have?
3. List keyword to define your topic
- State your research topic as a question.
- Think about the significant terms, concepts, and keywords that describe your topic. These terms will become the key for searching for information about your subject in library catalogs, online databases, and other resources.
- Sample keywords for research topic “How did New Deal programs influence the arts in America?”:
- New Deal
- United States
- Federal Aid to the Arts
4. Gather background information on your topic
It’s hard to get started if you don’t know much about your topic. Do some general reading in things like encyclopedias and subject-specific dictionaries to get an overview of the topic. This is also a great first step towards refining your topic.
This guide has been adapted, with permission, for Mount Aloysius College from the Duke University Libraries “Choosing a Topic.”