University 101 Programs




Research Like a Scholar

The “Research Like a Scholar” presentation is designed by librarians to introduce University 101 students to the Thomas Cooper Library and its resources through engaging activities and hands-on learning.  Topics will cover a variety of information literacy areas, including accessing and utilizing various databases to identify sources, the importance of proper citation of sources, and how to find quality sources.     

Learning Outcomes

The “Research Like a Scholar” presentation supports University 101 learning outcomes:

I. Foster Academic Success

b. Demonstrate how to effectively evaluate information sources and utilize University libraries and information systems for academic inquiry

The presentation endeavors to teach students how to effectively isolate keywords for a given topic or idea, and how to use those keywords to search for articles using the library’s databases. The presentation also instructs students on how to use keywords to find books about a given topic or idea using the library’s catalog. Special attention may be given to the importance of proper citation or resources, how to find quality sources, or search strategies.

As a result of attending this presentation students will:

  • Be able to identify service points in order to know where to get assistance
  • Be able to break down a topic in order to develop appropriate search terms
  • Be able to understand the purpose of the library catalog and a general article database (i.e. Academic Search Complete) in order to determine where to best start research on a given topic
  • Be able to comprehend basic record information in the library catalog and a general article database in order to retrieve books and articles

Presentation Outline

If instructors have research assignments that they would like incorporated into the presentation, it is strongly advised that they contact the presenter with information at least two weeks before their advanced session.

  • Introduction of instructor to the class, Q&A session about library resources, follow-up questions from students
  • Active exercise at dry erase boards designed to engage students while teaching them about the importance of keywords
  • Students are asked to answer basic questions about finding a particular book using the library’s catalog (call number, location, etc)
  • Oftentimes, the FYRE for that year is used as an example during this exercise
  • An explanation of the parts of a library catalog record is given
  • Demo of searching a sample topic (generally conducted in the database Academic Search Complete)
  • Detailed, step-by-step explanations of the components of a database (can include refining results, Boolean connectors, citation generators, abstracts, index terms, etc.)

Other information can include:

  • Getting books from other USC campus libraries, PASCAL, or Interlibrary Loan
  • "My Account", "LibGuides", or the "Cite This" button
  • Wrap up with final questions

Presentation Length
50 minutes or 75 minutes

Presenter Training
IInstruction orientations are offered by Timothy Simmons for all GAs and other librarians who do not normally teach bibliographic instruction.