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Peer Research Consultants

Training and information for PRCs


LibWizard is an online tutorial program to assist people in learning to use library systems.

Created by Holly, please look at this tutorial:

For the tutorial, please answer:

  1. Things you like about the tutorial
  2. Anything that appears awkward
  3. General Impressions

When complete, post your findings in a Word document in the PRC channel in Teams.

Mining for In-Depth Resources

Create a new document that you will post in Teams

To practice locating various scholarly, in-depth e-resources, use the topic of transformational leadership. This is a good way to start exploring what databases the library has and to become more familiar with the library website. Don't forget to add permalinks! (hint: instructions on how to do this is under Tips & Tricks, a few tabs up!)

Address the following areas:

  1. Definition
    1. Locate the definition of the term "transformational leadership" in an appropriate library reference tool. Provide a screenshot and indicate what database and / or source you used.
  2. Scholarly Research Article
    1. Locate a scholarly research article on the topic of "transformational leadership." Provide an APA or MLA citation and indicate what database you used.
  3. Biographical Information
    1. Locate biographical information on one of the originators (either Bass or Avolio) of transformational leadership of your choice.
    2. Provide a screenshot of the source.
    3. In one or two sentences, compare the quality of the information you found in the two sources.
  4. E-Book
    1. See if you can locate an e-book related to the topic of transformational leadership.
    2. Open the book and try using the search box to do a keyword search to see if either Bass or Avolio are mentioned in the body of the book. Choose a book that mentions one of these pioneers.
    3. Provide a screenshot of some text you want to quote. Provide your direct quote from the book with the parenthetical text citation using APA or MLA formating for the parenthetical text citation. For example, (Cassell & Hiremath, 2013, p. 222).
  5. Instrument (Questionnaire, Survey, Inventory, etc.)
    1. This one is difficult! Do not spend more than half an hour looking for information. Start by trying to locate an instrument (for example, a questionnaire, survey, or inventory) that could be used for research on the topic of transformational leadership.

    2. If found:

      1. Provide a screenshot of the information about your selected instrument.

      2. Is the instrument published or unpublished? What led you to this conclusion?

    3. If not found:

      1. Where did you get caught up?

      2. How did you try to resolve it?

      3. What point would you want to pass it to a librarian or bring in assistance?

  6. Dissertation
    1. Locate a dissertation or thesis on the topic of transformational leadership.
    2. What path did you take to find it? List each click you took from the website.
    3. Provide a screenshot
    4. Provide the citation using APA or MLA formatting
    5. Indicate how someone would be able to locate the full-text of the dissertation.


Tracking Progress

Assignment 1: Search Plan Using a Table

To help with your comfort level as you start learning how to research, for this assignment you will pick a topic of interest to you. Maybe it's something you already need to write a paper on for a class! If you are unsure about your choice, just ask Karlene!



  1. Search Plan
    1. To help determine what search terms you may need, think like a reporter
      1. WHO – Not always a person, this might be a location such as a building, a ferris wheel, or a river.
      2. WHAT – Perhaps damage from a wave, a safety concern, or a discussion of Trump tweets
      3. WHERE – the actual physical location, such as Texas
      4. WHEN – the dates
      5. WHY / ISSUES – For example, if looking for information on insurance coverage of a tidal wave, you may need to consider search terms like windstorm or hurricane.
      6. CONTINGENCY PLAN – if you can’t find what you want in the database, what is your next course of action?
  2. Search Strategy
    1. One option is a chart, as shown here. In the Research Path, list all the steps taken to reach your destination.
    2. These steps may need to be repeated multiple times. In between each, you may make notes on what was wrong or where it went off track for you. The example above went on to use Resource: Google and Google Scholar for additional ideas before returning to Resource: Westlaw.
  3. Search Results
    1. Provide a screen shot of your answer
  4. Analysis – provide a few paragraphs that answer:
    1. What did you learn about the search process?
    2. How long did you work on the question?
    3. What went well?

Include the name of your search topic at the top of the 2nd page.

You may add columns to the document to account for:

  • Date of Search
  • Filters used (such as publication date, peer-reviewed, etc)
  • Permalink to research results instead of a screenshot
  • Articles of Note

When complete, upload the worksheet to Teams and let Karlene Clark, and Brittany Fischer know.

Do not proceed to the next assignment until this one has been reviewed!

Assignment 2: Search Plan Using a Table Part 2

Now that you've met with the librarian on how to maximize your searching, please repeat the above exercise, utilizing your new tools.

Do not proceed to the interview until this assignment has been reviewed! You may be asked to revise and expand your searches!

Assignment 3: Follow Up on Revised Search Plan

This assignment is to reflect on what you learned in this process. You may choose to, at the bottom of Assignment #2, either write this out as a reflection, or let your librarians know when you turn in #2 that you'd like it as a discussion instead. Whichever works for your style of learning!

Please include (or be ready to discuss):

  1. All the databases you've tried in the exercise and the revisions
  2. How did those databases influence the results / pros and cons of each
  3. A discussion about relevance and recall of the result lists (how relevant were the results to the search terms?)
  4. Recognition of different collections of journals / material types in the different databases
  5. Differences of functionality in differing databases
  6. Kristen uses a toolbox analogy - which database "tool" do you choose when researching your topic and why?

English 130 Sample Questions Assignment

  • When you get to assist with English 130, you will need to know how to work with questions like these.
  • Please submit questions 1 & and the section on Charged Language at the same time.

Question 1

Often times when we start, the topic is extremely broad.

Choose two of the following English 130 Topics for this assignment:

  • Work & Leisure
  • Sustainability & Community
  • Technology & Community
  • College Education
  • Demoncracy and public spaces

This assignment is to demonstrate your ability to navigate the Research Guides. While it may seem logical to start with the Eng 130 guide, that may not be where the topic best fits. This helps you start thinking "outside the box" and to consider what subject areas the topics may better fit. Use the Search Plan model for documenting your path.

For each question, list:

  1. Which Research Guides did you look at?
  2. Which links did you follow on the Guides?
  3. Why did you make each decision you did?

Stop and get a short meeting scheduled with Karlene and Brittany about Charged Language before starting that assignment!

Charged language

"Charged Language" is defined as using controversial words or phrases that imply judgments and feelings about the subject. It is often filled with logical fallacies and innuendos and can elicit an emotional response from the listener or reader. At its worst, it could include veiled accusations or threats. 

Some examples could include using "fanatic" instead of "enthusiastic" or describing something as a "plague" rather than it being a "difficult situation."

You might experience different cases where folks ask you questions, and the language may create a response in yourself or be biased. It's important to recognize charged language so you can help meet the patron's needs without swaying them towards one direction or another. Sometimes you may get difficult questions like this, and just know it's ok if you can't answer it or if you feel there might be a bias present in yourself. Please connect with your librarian to help you. 

Please read the following example that one of our reference librarians experienced.  

Chat session: 

Patron: I need help researching welfare abuse in small communities. When I search for welfare abuse in small communities in Academic Search Ultimate, it always brings up child abuse cases and barely anything on the topic I'm looking for. 

Librarian: Okay, it sounds like the abuse word was getting picked up separately. Maybe "welfare abuse" with quotes around it would help? Hmm, the initial search I tried with the quotes had no results 

Patron: That does help, but when I add small communities then no results are found 

This is a review of how one librarian handled the question:

  • I recall from the English 130 assignment that you are looking for some peer-reviewed journal articles. I'm going to try some searches in Academic Search Ultimate and see if I can figure out some keywords that work. 
  • I see welfare reform is another search term the database suggests...  
  • I'm thinking you won't find an article exactly on your topic from what we saw from trying to search ASU (zero results for that one search), but we could find some articles on related topics that you could piece together in your essay. 
  • Substitute names of specific programs for the phrase Welfare Reform or Welfare Abuse : e.g. (temporary assistance to needy families OR SNAP) AND rural AND abuse 
  • Basically, since "welfare abuse" didn't work for that initial search, now that we learned a little more about the topic (what are examples of welfare abuse), we can try some different words to see if we get more results. 
  • Also – try to give guidance/suggestions to “operationalize” the issue because eventually in the course they come up with a local proposal, e.g. 
  • For example, maybe you are making the point that welfare shouldn't support drug abusers and use that article and then you add something about what a local community could do - use that welfare money to support a drug treatment program instead. And if you look at a certain community, you could add details like Organization B could organize the drug treatment program. 

Now that you've seen tips, please answer:

  • How would you break this down? What search terms might you try?
  • Do you see examples of “charged language” in this question? 


Stop here and make an appointment with Karlene and Brittany.