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English 1201 Faculty: Prepare for the Session


  • Students should have completed the pre-survey the week before their library session. Please ask them to write down any questions they might have--we will discuss them in class.
  • Your library session will take place in one of the classrooms at the library, so it is helpful for everyone to meet there a few minutes before the session starts.
  • The students should come prepared with a research topic or question related to their ENGL 1201 research assignment. We will work on these individually and as a group for most of our time together.
  • Lastly, when scheduling your class, please include the research assignment and also the topics of your students, if they have them. This will help us better prepare in advance for the session.     


One of the major frustrations for first-year students doing research is to have picked a topic on which there is either too little or too much information. Sometimes it is because the topic is just too broad. Take, for example, the topic of water pollution in the US. There is just so much information that the student can become quickly overwhelmed. Sometimes, the topic is just too narrow. For example, the topic of aquifer pollution in nineteenth century New York City might be more suitable for a  master's thesis or dissertation than a freshmen assignment.

If you have time before our session, take a look at your students' topics. "Water pollution in the US" might become instead a search for  "water pollution in Lake Michigan" combined with a keyword search for "EPA" or "legislation."  "Aquifer pollution in nineteenth century New York" might become a search for "water  pollution" with keywords like "New York City", "history"  and "causes."  The student can always broaden or narrow the topic later.