Getting started on your essay

The reflective essay (max. 1000 words) should describe the library research performed and explain decisions regarding how and where you searched and what sources you used. The essay will evaluate critical thinking skills and evidence of understanding of the research processes.

To help get you started, here are some topics and questions that your essay can address.


Helpful definitions

Library research: Processes to find and access information to help make a decision, produce new knowledge, establish the rationale for pursuing course of action, or conduct a literature review.

Library research tool: Information, resources, or systems designed to help find resources on a topic of interest. Examples include databases, catalogs, reference books, bibliographies, resource guides produced by librarians, and descriptions or indexes of archival collections.

Research strategy: Plan of action for finding and using information to achieve a goal. Examples that can be included in a research strategy include conducting background reading or searching to gain a more sophisticated understanding of a topic. If you have further questions about researching methods, ask a librarian or your instructor.

Searching technique: Decisions about how to interact with specific library research tools, such as which search forms to use, what terms to type, which features to use, and which filters or limits to apply, etc.


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