Radford University McConnell Library

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​What is this?

Not sure what we can teach, or how long a topic will take? The below list shows our most popular topics. This is not an exhaustive list; if you would like other resources or topics addressed, we’d be happy to discuss the options with you.

For all classes

Will your students need to…[time required]
Points Covered
Develop a search strategy? (highly recommended) [10 minutes]
  • Brainstorming a topic
  • Narrowing topics
  • Identifying keywords and synonyms

Use the library’s catalog to look for books or DVDs? [10 minutes]

  • Finding books and videos on a topic
  • Accessing electronic books
  • Using call numbers to locate items in the building

Know the difference between popular and scholarly articles? [20 minutes]

  • Comparing and contrasting journals vs magazines articles
  • Discussing the publication process

Evaluate Websites? [50 minutes]

  • Analyzing sites for credibility

Learn how to cite in APA or MLA to avoid plagiarism? [50 minutes-75 minutes]

  • Understanding when to cite
  • Using the APA or MLA Libguides
  • Creating a reference and in-text citation for a source

Use general interest databases to find articles on common, popular topics? [15 minutes per database]

  • Using databases like SuperSearch to find articles on topics
  • Using the “find full text” link to retrieve articles


For Upper Level Classes (students have library basics)

Will your students need to… [time required]
Points Covered
Mine a good article to discover other relevants sources on their topics? [30 minutes]
  • Find full text from a bibliography or works cited list
  • Reading citations
  • Distinguishing between book and article citations
  • Finding the full titles of abbreviated journal names
  • Using the catalog and journal finder to locate items
  • Searching a database to find related articles (especially through the use of subject headings)

Track the literature to find articles which cited an important work? [20 minutes]

  • Using Web of Knowledge and other tools to find citation information

Identify the different types of scholarly articles? [15 minutes]

  • Comparing and distinguishing between: research articles and literature reviews; primary vs. secondary
  • Discussing what peer-reviewed means

Search specialized databases for their fields? [30 minutes per database]

  • How to search for topics in PsycINFO, CINAHL; ERIC; Sociological Abstracts, Web of Science, etc.

Avoid plagiarism through correct APA or MLA citations[50-75 minutes]

  • How to cite quotes, summaries, and paraphrases
  • Recognize a ‘good’ paraphrase from a ‘bad’ paraphrase
  • Learn strategies to correctly paraphrase

Request articles and books through Interlibrary Loan? [10 minutes]

  • How to log in to ILL
  • How to request an article
  • How to access articles received


Course-specific options

Univ 100: Library Challenge [50 minutes]
  • Students play a Jeopardy-style game complete with buzzers and prizes to learn about McConnell Library.

Univ 100: iPod Scavenger Hunt [50 minutes]
  • Students use iPods to physically explore McConnell Library.

Core 201: Amazing Library Race [50-75 minutes]
  • Students compete in teams to learn about finding scholarly sources and writing annotations.

Core 201: Flipped Classroom [50-75 minutes]
  • Students complete a series of quizzes in Desire2Learn before the library day. The librarian and professor then help students find their sources.


McConnell Library, 801 E. Main St., PO Box 6881, Radford VA 24142-6881
Telephone: 540.831.5364
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