Addressing research challenges in the writing center
Addressing Research Challenges in
the Writing Center
Grace Kaletski, Learning & Information Literacy Librarian
What do students ask you about
research or information?
How do you decide when to refer
writing center visitors to a librarian?
Refer students to a librarian when...
You get a question about research or information that:
- You aren’t sure how to answer
- Takes more than 5-7 minutes for you to answer
- You don’t have a better answer for them than “Google it!”
A student makes a comment like:
- I couldn’t find any sources on my topic
- The library doesn’t have anything on my topic
Ask us anything
“Where can I find recordings of songs written during the French Revolution?”
“I need to make a list of large corporations in Volusia county”
“How do I cite a family tree in Chicago style?”
“Is the Yale Law Journal peer reviewed?”
“I can’t find any refereed articles on bioluminescent trees”
“Can you help me find statistics on how many people watched the US Open?”
“Is the Internet Archive a reliable source?”
Meet your librarians
Find out which librarian is on call during your tutoring shifts & meet that person
Feel free to reach out to the on-call librarian during a tutoring session
Take advantage of librarians on your own
A list of all librarians & library staff is available here:
Tips for confronting plagiarism
Make the conversation about citations or sources
Say “did you have any questions about formatting in-text citations?” or “what source did you use for
this information?” instead of “You plagiarized!”
Ensure they know where to get the appropriate style manual
Go through the Plagiarism Checklist together
Show them how easy it is to generate citations online
Help them get in touch with a librarian, esp. if they don’t have sources
Direct them to the Avoiding Plagiarism & Citing Sources Research Guides
Tips for helping evaluate information
Credibility may vary depending on purpose of the source
Try the CRAAP test
A .org site is NOT automatically trustworthy
Does it seem like fake or heavily biased news? Resources on the Evaluating & Fact-
Checking Sources Research Guide can help you figure it out
Can’t determine if a source is peer-reviewed or refereed? Look up the journal or
periodical in Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory to find out.
Where to start basic research
OneSearch (search box on
Searches several databases at the same time. Find books, peer-reviewed
articles, magazines, news, videos, & more on any subject.
Find peer-reviewed articles & magazine articles on any subject.
Google Scholar Find peer-reviewed articles on any subject. Be sure to access this via the
link in the library’s database list.
JSTOR Find peer-reviewed articles on humanities & social science topics.
Content published in the most recent 3-5 years is not included.
LexisNexis Find news, legal info, & company info.
OneSearch Search Basics
● Search with keywords, not phrases or sentences
● Put each keyword in a separate search box
● Use refine results panel to narrow search results
● Try different keywords if you aren’t happy with results
● Click on blue link below each source in results list for full text access
● Click on title to read abstract, generate citation under Tools > Cite
● If they must use interlibrary loan, it’s time to talk to a librarian