Hostos librarians can support your students build their research skills in a number of ways:
- Working with you to create in-class workshops tailored to your research assignment and learning goals;
- Offering individual guidance to students and answers to their research questions at the reference desk on the lower level of the library;
- Collaborating with you to create course-specific research guides;
- Working with you to hone research assignments aligned with the resources available to Hostos students;
And we are always open to speaking with you to discuss other possibilities for collaboration.
Please note that the library’s website is a resource for all students, and the library is working to add more online guides and videos this spring.
SOME OPTIONS FOR IN-CLASS WORKSHOPS
- INTRODUCTORY RESEARCH SKILL: Using library sources
Library sources have gone through several layers of vetting to be included in the library’s collection. Students will examine and contrast different kinds of sources (such as reference articles, books, and when appropriate peer-reviewed articles) to learn the different kinds of information available to them and strategies to find relevant sources.
Depending on the nature and requirement of your assignment, different materials will be chosen as the focus.
- INTRODUCTORY RESEARCH SKILL: Using the open web for research: Go beyond clicking on the first hit on Google
After graduation (and now, in daily life), the internet is for most people the primary provider of written and audiovisual information. In this workshop, students will start to build critical habits of mind when confronting web sources, learning that they should always investigate: Who wrote this? What is their agenda and POV? Where did they get their information?
In an increasingly complex web environment, students must go beyond the idea of “bad/uncredible” vs “good/credible” websites, to consider which factors would lead one more toward trust (e.g., good logic, known strong reputation, verifiable credentials of author, etc.) and which more toward doubt (e.g., anonymity, poor reasoning, strongly biased language, lack of acknowledged sources)?
- INTRODUCTORY RESEARCH SKILL: Incorporating others’ words and ideas into one’s own writing.
Although plagiarism is essentially a writing, rather than research, issue, a workshop on using outside sources can be brought to your class.
Students should bring to class an article or book that they will use in their assignment, and will examine and discuss best practices for citation, and will have hands-on time to integrate a quote or paraphrase into a paragraph and create at least one citation in class.
- Exploring empirical articles
What is an empirical article, and what are the best ways to triage the results from a database list? What are strategies for sussing out quickly and effectively whether an article is appropriate to one’s research? Students (best for advanced classes) will have hands-on time learning the answers.
- Narrowing a research topic
Even after having some research experience, students sometimes struggle to figure out a good scope for their inquiry. Workshops can lead them through strategies of determining a researchable question with a reasonable scope.
- Using primary sources
A workshop can be created to get students thinking about differences between primary and secondary sources, and learning where to find relevant material for their project.
The library has a number of databases devoted to historical primary sources, and the Hostos Archives contains some primary sources about the Grand Concourse, Hostos College, and Eugenio Maria de Hostos.
The above list is not meant to be comprehensive – the best workshop is one that is tailored to supporting your assignment, and we’d be glad to speak with you about possible options.
To Arrange a Course-Related Library Workshop for Your Students:
- Faculty are expected to stay through the workshop session, and are invited to be active. Students benefit when you help them make connections between the workshop and your curriculum.
- Faculty should contact their liaison librarian or Prof. Yamauchi at least two weeks before they want to hold the workshop, to ensure enough time for the library faculty member to prepare materials and a lesson plan.
- Please be ready for some preparatory discussion (can be a chat face to face, over the phone, or via email) about the assignment with the library faculty member who will teach the workshop, so that an appropriate lesson can be planned.
Library workshop request form (please feel free to either copy and paste these questions into an email, or download the word doc here: Workshop Request Form.
We request at least two weeks’ notice before the date when you would like the workshop.
(1) Assignment: Please describe your research assignment, including major deadlines (or just attach your syllabus, if it describes the assignment).
(2) Student learning goals: By the end of the semester, what do you expect students to know and be able to do, regarding research?
(2) Logistical information
- Professor name:
- Course and section:
- Room number and day/time of class:
- Is your classroom a smartroom (Y/N)?
- Is your enrollment/expected attendance 25 or more?
Please note that for classes over 25, we may need to make reservations for smartrooms, computer labs, COWS, and/or projectors, which are all subject to availability – advance notice helps our chances.
We look forward to collaborating with you!