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Research Workshop

What, Why, How, and When

What is this?

This guide is a crash course in information literacy, or how to research well. As a crash course, it does not cover everything; there are elements and nuances of research that are not addressed here. As a course in info lit, it will provide you with tools to approach research with wisdom, charity, and confidence.

Why are you doing it?

As college students, you are expected to complete research papers and projects of increasing complexity. However, many students have only a tenuous grasp of what the research process looks like, what time is required, what resources are available, and what techniques they can use to improve their work. Without guidance, they may slip into shoddy or dishonest research habits that affect other areas. A poor researcher cuts corners, cannot manage his time, and does not listen or respond to others intelligently or politely. A good researcher can approach a conversation honestly and humbly and make clear, wise, and pertinent contributions. In the hope that you will be among the latter group, we require some official research instruction. So here you are.

How do you complete the course?

Each tab on the left is a separate lesson. It includes lecture boxes with core material, supplementary boxes with illustrations, optional resources for further reading, and student exercises. You are expected to read the material and complete the exercises for each lesson in order. Once you have completed the final lesson, your results will be compiled and graded and you'll get feedback from a librarian. If you have questions, please send an email via the "Need Help?" box on each page. The librarians are ready and eager to assist.

When does it need to be done?

We have set a deadline of one lesson per week for each week of Nicea term. This is intended to help you as you work through your research project for theology (and to assist with your rhetoric paper as well), so leaving all the work to the end of the term would rather defeat the purpose.