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Checking in with the NCC Libraries

Student Research Workshops Hosted by the Libraries in Fall 2021

by Cassandra Nieves on 2021-08-10T11:54:00-04:00 | Comments

Faculty, are you looking for some learning activities for students to participate in outside of class time? Do you wish you had more time to invite a librarian to teach research and information literacy skills during class? The library's student workshops might be a good fit for your plans!

Each workshop is designed to cover different aspects of information literacy and research skills - from selecting a topic or choosing information sources to using specific research resources. Here's what's we have planned for Fall 2021:

Library Orientation

Whether this is your first semester at NCC or your last, come to the Library Orientation to find out what’s changed, what’s new, and (re)connect with some of your NCC librarians. We’ll show you how to navigate the library website, how to find library books and other items using SpartaCat (the library catalog), and basic searching with EBSCO Discovery Service. Learn about all the ways you can get help from a librarian this semester, other library services, and working with the libraries from borrowing materials to using our spaces.  

Getting Started with a Research Topic

Stuck trying to choose a topic or find something interesting within your professor’s prompt? In this session, discover where and how you can get inspiration and learn strategies for choosing a topic. Once you have some topic ideas, see how to collect and generate search keywords. We’ll also cover often overlooked steps at this point in the research process – preliminary and exploratory searching to find background information, focusing your topic, and making adjustments as you learn more about it. We’ll also help you recognize topics that don’t lend themselves to research and how to pivot when a topic you’ve chosen isn’t going to work for your assignment. 

Keyword Brainstorming Party

You’ve picked a topic for your research paper – now what? And what’s a keyword? Join us to learn how to speak the language of databases (hint: we're gonna use keywords) and become a more successful researcher. Bring your topic with you and leave with a list of keywords to use as you start your search for information sources.  

Selecting and Evaluating Sources

We know there’s a lot of information out there, and sometimes it can be hard to figure out what’s the best to use. Join us as we look at the most commonly used types of information sources in academic and college research and help you recognize which situations to use them in. We’ll also explore the concept of misinformation. We’ll discuss how to think critically about information by laterally reading across sources to assess both trustworthy and unreliable sources and also look at what determines expertise, credibility, and relevance.  

Locating Original Research Articles

Looking for an original research article?  Not sure what it is or where to find it? Learn about this resource and the sources that will lead you to the article. 

Scholarly and Peer-Reviewed Sources 

Do you have an assignment to do a research paper and your professor says to use “scholarly sources?”   Did they also mention something about “peer-reviewed articles?”  This workshop will explain what scholarly and peer-reviewed sources are and why they are important for doing academic research.  We will also practice how to find scholarly/peer-reviewed articles in the library databases and share some time-saving tips for reading and using them in your assignment. 

Business and Industry Research 

Learn to use the Library tools that will help you investigate companies, perform a S.W.O.T. analysis, develop demographic predictions, and create a marketing plan.  

Westlaw for the Rest of Us! 

You don't need to be a Paralegal major to find useful information in the Westlaw database! It's a great place to find historic government documents, law journal articles, business data, and international news from reliable sources.

Psychology Research Starter Kit: 5 Resources Most-Used by Librarians

Looking for psychology information? Discover the NCC Librarians' five favorite psychology resources along with search strategies and tips for each. We’ll cover the DSM-5, the databases APA PsycArticles, Frontiers In, PLOS One, and internet sources like Psychology Today. 

Locating and Identifying Literature Criticism

Calling all English II students! Have you been assigned a research paper that requires literary criticism? Sign up today to learn what literary criticism is and how to locate criticisms. We’ll cover the different literary criticism databases and walk you through how to do research, which is very different from informational/persuasive research. 

Most topics will be offered throughout the semester at various times across Bethlehem, Monroe, and Virtual campuses so students can attend when, where, and how it is convenient for them. For details, including dates, times, and locations, see the Library Events calendar, where students will also be able to sign up for the sessions. 

With the switch to a 14-week semester, if there's no longer time in your teaching schedule to invite a librarian to your classroom for a library research session or worry about the variability of your student’s existing research skills and abilities and past experiences, these workshops might be a good fit for your plans. We hope they offer flexible research and information literacy learning experiences and allow you to refer or require your students to attend sessions as you deem appropriate. Students are also more than welcome to attend and participate voluntarily, outside of any class requirements or instructor expectations. Proof of attendance will be provided to students and is available to instructors upon request.  

Not sure if the workshops are the right choice for your course? We can still work with you and your students through library, research, or information literacy classes, embedded librarians, video and self-guided tutorials, or other learning materials. Send any questions to

More topics and workshops will follow for the Spring 2022 semester.

- posted by the NCC Librarians

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