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IAT 309W Library Research Workshop. Shane Plante SIAT Librarian shane@sfu.ca. The plan. Finding your topic Researching your topic Evaluating your sources with the 3 Rs Citing your sources Getting help Questions (at any time). f inding your topic. finding a topic.

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iat 309w library research workshop

IAT 309WLibrary Research Workshop

Shane Plante

SIAT Librarian

shane@sfu.ca

the plan
The plan
  • Finding your topic
  • Researching your topic
  • Evaluating your sources with the 3 Rs
  • Citing your sources
  • Getting help
  • Questions (at any time)
finding a topic
finding a topic

These two elements are the foundation of your research topic

writing a research question
writing a research question
  • Are bananas the perfect fruit?
    • Not a possible IAT 309W topic.
    • Why?
        • It lacks an issue or a problem.
        • Not argument-worthy. Who cares?
  • Should grocery stores in BC only be permitted to sell
  • BC-grown fruits and vegetables?
  • A possible IAT 309W topic.
  • Why?
        • It has an issue or a problem. (e.g., sustainability)
        • Argument-worthy. It’s a question worth asking.
g eneral topic specific topic

finding a topic

general topic  specific topic

background sources

  • examples:
  • encyclopedias
  • handbooks
  • books
slide8

Sample encyclopedia entry:

And a sample book:

s omething tangible research topic

finding a topic

something tangible  research topic

kernel

Should motion gaming be incorporated into Physical Education programs in Canadian schools?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/auxo/5817183192/

news sources research topic

finding a topic

news sources  research topic

Should employees be allowed to outsource their own jobs?

Quan, K. (2013, January 17). Developer outsources job to China so he can watch cat videos. Time. Retrieved from http://www.time.com/

keep your eyes open research topic

finding a topic

keep your eyes open  research topic

Should universities in BC begin providing students with stand-up/sit-down desks?

Photo taken of improvised stand-up desk in Fraser Library. Not advised!

finding a topic1
finding a topic

try to be Goldilocksian

- not too narrow

- not too general

finding a topic2
finding a topic

Tip: In general, you can only cover one idea per paragraph.

This can help to determine if your topic is too broad.

finding a topic3
finding a topic

Do you think these topics are too broad, too narrow, or just right for an 8 page research paper?

Should unhealthy foods be required to carry a warning label?

Should sodas 16 oz. or more be required to carry a warning label in Canada?

Should stores be banned from selling large sodas?

Should 7-Elevens in Surrey be required to include a warning label on their Big Gulps?

before researching your topic
before researching your topic
  • Spend some time brainstorming the following:
  • - What information would you like to find?
  • - What are some good words for searching?
    • (+ gather new words as you go)
  • - What are some good places to search?
researching your topic
researching your topic

Sample topic: Should sodas 16 oz. or more be required to carry a warning label in Canada?

Who would be likely to collect and publish information on this topic?

What could you do if you can’t find the exact articles and information you want on your topic?

This will often be the case for more original topics.

But: risk + reward

researching your topic1
researching your topic
  • Tips on finding
  • good places to search
    • great starting place: IAT 309W research guide
anatomy of a database
anatomy of a database

Sort results

Search boxes

“Add to folder” button allows you to email articles and APA citations to yourself

Results

“Where can I get this?” link finds full-text for articles not included in the database

Here, you can limit to scholarly journals; refine your results by date, subject heading, geography, etc.

researching your topic2
researching your topic
  • Finding scholarly sources
  • where to search
  • how to identify them
the three rs evaluating your sources
The ThreeRs: Evaluating your sources

Recency

  • Are you including the most recent research about your topic?
  • Would an historical perspective be useful?

Relevance

  • How closely does it relate to your topic?
    • E.g., If you’ve found information that differs in culture/size/etc from your topic, is it still relevant?

Reliability

  • Who is the author
    • What is the author’s expertise?
  • What is the purpose of the document?
  • Type of source? (scholarly, popular, government, etc.)
slide30

What information don’t you need to cite?

What information doyou need to cite?

image credits
Image credits

All icons used were published with CC-BY licenses or are in the public domain. They all come from The Noun Project: thenounproject.com

In order of appearance:

Leafby Peter Silk

Treeby Alberto Guerra Quintanilla

Lungsby chrisdawson

Brain Machine Interfaceby HYPERMORGEN

Airplaneby Dmitry Baranovskiy

Binocularsby Luis Prado

Banana by James Keuning

Pear by James Keuning

Tornado by Adam Whitcroft

Handby Dmitry Baranovskiy

Bear is in the public domain

Map by Alessandro Suraci

Resize by David Swanson

Sodaby Christopher Anderson

Cigarettes by Julia Soderberg

Poison by Robert Leonardo

Worker by Juan Pablo Bravo

Pencil by Monika Ciapala

Gymnast by James Keuning

Scalpel by Danny Sturgess

Finger Print by Diego Naive

Add Time by Arthur Shlain

Target by James Keuning

Okay by Stephanie Wauters

Warning by Stefan Parnarov

Network by Mister Pixel

Signpost by Juan Pablo Bravo

User Help by Murali Krishna

Idea Exchange by Luis Prado

how can the library help
How canthe library help?
  • Helping you to find background sources? Yes!
  • Helping you to find articles? Yes!
  • Helping you to evaluate sources? Yes!
  • Helping you to find APA style examples? Yes!
  • Helping you with structuring, paraphrasing, and becoming a better writer? Yes!*

*see the Student Learning Commons

slide35

I’m happy to meet with you in a one-to-one appointment or you can visit one of our reference desks (Surrey, Burnaby, Vancouver)

If you want to meet with me, please:

- Arrive prepared:

- bring topic(s)

- bring questions

- Plan ahead:

- please contact me (at least) a few days before you’d like to meet

- there are 40 of you + only 1 of me

research consultations

a sk a librarian
ask a librarian

Or contact me directly:

Shane Plante (shane@sfu.ca)

SIAT Librarian