Writing and Speaking Instruction

The NCSU Libraries can provide research assistance to your classes, either in D.H. Hill or in your own classroom. We offer a selection of instruction plans to meet your needs. Each session is scheduled to be 50 minutes unless otherwise noted.

Introduction to Library Research

The library offers five unique instruction sessions that provide students with hands-on preparation for college-level research assignments.

  • Selecting and Refining Your Topic

    Selecting a topic is often an underestimated step in the research process.  In this session, we’ll work with students to choose a topic that’s relevant to them and their assignment and is also researchable.

    In this session, students will:

    • explore viable avenues for choosing a good topic
    • consider common challenges to research, including recency, scope, and the nature of their topic
    • shape their topics into research questions
    • develop a list of keywords to begin searching for scholarly sources
    • have time for guided research on their topic in Summon

    Prerequisites: Students' assignment should include a topic selection component. Ideally, students should have a prospective topic in mind before attending the session.

    View the slides and the handout for this session below.

  • Understanding Scholarly (and Non-Scholarly) Sources

    Students may know they have to reference peer-reviewed sources for their assignments but struggle with identifying scholarly sources or even knowing what kind of information scholarly sources provide.  Content found in some non-scholarly sources such as government documents, private research publications, reference materials, etc. may be just as vital to their research efforts.  We’ll review and compare the strengths of multiple types of sources students should consider for their research.

    In this session, students will:

    • learn what a scholarly, peer-reviewed article is and how to identify one
    • recognize red herrings, often mistaken for scholarly articles
    • discover other types of sources that might be useful in their research
    • learn how to use Summon to find scholarly and non-scholarly articles

    Prerequisites: Students should have an assignment which includes a requirement to use scholarly, peer-reviewed articles.

    View the slides and the handout for this session below.

  • Evaluating Sources for Credibility

    Students should consult not only scholarly articles for their research, but other media utilized by experts to communicate with the public. This may include blogs, podcasts, newspaper articles, social media, websites, etc.  However, finding trustworthy sources may prove to be a challenge for students scrolling through an unending results list from a simple web search.

    In this session, students will:

    • recognize the importance of referencing a diverse selection of credible sources for their research, including both scholarly and popular sources
    • evaluate sources for credibility
    • learn how to find articles using Summon

    Prerequisites: Students should be familiar with the concept of peer-review (e.g. from an earlier Library Instruction session or from viewing Peer Review in 3 Minutes). This session will be most beneficial to students who will be using popular sources in addition to scholarly sources for their research assignment.

    View the slides and the handout for this session below.

  • Selecting a Topic for your Autoethnography

    Finding scholarly articles for the autoethnography project is a challenge for many students. Underlying that difficulty is the tendency to select to a topic before reviewing the academic literature. In this session, we'll help students consider their in-groups through a scholarly lens early in the research process, to ensure they select a topic that is both personal and researchable.

    In this session, students will:

    • explore potential “in-groups”
    • consider which of those are researchable
    • have time for guided research in Summon
    • refine their topics in response to search results

    Prerequisites: Students should be familiar with the autoethnography assignment and have two or three potential topics in mind to explore during the session.

    View the slides and the handout for this session below.

  • Finding the Right Sources for Your Speech

    Students often choose contemporary and sometimes contentious topics for their in-class speeches. While this may serve as an opportunity for students to incorporate their passions and interests into their academic courses, they may find themselves out of luck when looking for suitable sources in the traditional places. In this session, we'll help students identify what type of sources they should consider, depending on their topics and the assignment.

    In this session, students will:

    • identify the most appropriate source type for their speeches
    • identify the strengths of different source types
    • practice finding and evaluating credible sources

    Prerequisites: Students should be familiar with the concept of peer-review (e.g. from viewing Peer Review in 3 Minutes).

    View the slides and the handout for this session below.

D.H. Hill Mobile Scavenger Hunt 

This is a fun and active way to introduce ENG 101 students to the library. By the end of the activity, students will find a book in the stacks, meet a librarian, and locate a journal. [Learn more about the technical details of the scavenger hunt.]

Advanced Topics

This session will help students explore disciplinary research sources and develop subject-specific research strategies. A subject specialist librarian will contact you to schedule and plan your session.

iMovie Hands-On Workshop (in library only)

In this 50 minute hands-on workshop, students will make a short video, add an audio track, use title slides and transitions, and export the video for sharing.

Library Resources for Digital Media Assignments (30 Minutes)

Students learn about NCSU Libraries' spaces and services that can help them with multimedia assignments, including audio/visual equipment in the technology lending program, available software, and reservable spaces at the libraries. Students should be aware of their assignment before this session.

Note: This session does not include hands-on software training.

Request Instruction