Database Searching

This lesson was designed to familiarize English Composition students with library databases that are useful for multidisciplinary research.  Students are divided into four groups, with each group responsible for a pre-determined search in a library databases (see worksheets below). Once students complete there searches and answer the related questions, each group is responsible for teaching their assigned database to their classmates, with the instructor facilitating and reinforcing key concepts. (Also works well using a jigsaw teaching method.)
 
Students will:
    Develop an understanding of how the library's resources are organized and accessed.
    Develop an understanding of key library search techniques, such as: keyword v. subject searching, techniques for
             narrowing a search, interlibrary loan, and citation tools available
.
    Develop a familiarity with four commonly used library research databases.
 
Time: 50 minutes
Equipment: Computers/Internet 
 
(Topics for discussion: keyword v. subject searching, access to electronic and print books available at Reed Library, using call numbers, Google Books project)
 
(Topics for discussion: keyword v. subject search, narrowing and broadening search results, accessing full text, using "Article Linker" feature to interlibrary loan articles and link to other databases, citing sources and citation tools)
 
(Topics for discussion: selecting a research topic, refining a research topic, types of information sources (reference books, editorials, academic journals, etc..., citing sources and citation tools)
 
Discovery Search: (new tool: searches the library catalog and all library databases simultaneously)
 (Topics for discussion: selecting and refining a research topic, types of information sources, using a variety of information sources, citing sources and citation tools)