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University of Texas Libraries
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Contact Us
There are librarians assigned to each UGS course who specifically work with first-year students and UGS faculty:
  • Michele Ostrow, micheleo@austin.utexas.edu
  • Krystal Wyatt-Baxter, krystal@austin.utexas.edu
  • Elise Nacca, elisenacca@austin.utexas.edu
  • Cindy Fisher, cindyf@austin.utexas.edu
  • Or you can reach all of us at once at lib-instruction@utlists.utexas.edu

You may also find individual course guides for this semester's classes that we are working with. More guides will appear over the course of the semester:
Write & Cite
Plagiarism and Citing Help:
Are students having trouble understanding how and when to cite? The following tutorials can be done as a group in class or assigned outside of the classroom:

Citation software:

NoodleTools - students sign up for a free account, enter their citations and it formats them in MLA, APA or Chicago style.  Also supports notetaking and helps with in-text citations.


UGS Drop-in Research/Writing Labs:
Students in UGS classes can drop in to get research help from Library Staff and writing help from Writing Center consultants.  Just drop by PCL 1.124 in the basement of PCL during any of the following times:
  • Monday, November 3, 11:30am-1:30pm
  • Tuesday, November 11, 7-9pm
  • Wednesday, November 19, 7-9pm

Oral Communication workshop:
 Led by staff of the Sanger Learning Center, this workshop will lead you through the fundamentals of speech delivery, provides rehearsal tips and helps you create a personal plan to improve your speech delivery. Make sure to RSVP to save your spot. 
  • TBA
Evaluate Websites, Articles and Books
Popular Magazines vs. Scholarly Journals
This grid will help you distinguish between scholarly (peer-reviewed) articles and popular articles.  Compare your article with the components of a scholarly article.

How to Evaluate Books, Journals, Magazines, and Newspapers
This guide provides you with some criteria and tips for exploring the credibility of a source by assessing authority, accuracy, currency, objectivity, and purpose.

How to Evaluate Websites

This guide provides you with criteria and tips for evaluating the credibility of a website by assessing authority, accuracy, currency, objectivity, and purpose.
Research Tips
  • From the Tip Jar
    The UT Libraries Tip Jar blog posts are short informal explanations and videos about research geared toward first-year college students.
  • How-To Guides
    Some of our most requested research help into short how-tos. 
For Your Grad Research
Here are some resources that are available for you, in your graduate reseach:
  • Subject Specialist: Contact a librarian who has specific subject expertise in your area. 
  • Schedule of Library Classes: a list of upcoming (or past) library classes about a variety of topics.
  • Guide from Best Resource for Graduate Students library class.
Explaining the Research Process
                          research process

Research is an iterative process and takes much practice in order to really hone the skill. We often explain to our students that the three beginning steps of the research process are:
  • brainstorming keywords to use in a search for information
  • reading contextual (or background information) to gain more knowlege and find more keywords
  • evaluating the information we've found and gaining contextual information and finding more keywords

Resources to help with the research process:
  • Use this online keyword brainstorming tool to help students organize their keywords.
  • Encourage students to use contextual information (textbooks, enyclopedias, wikipedia) to broaden their understanding of a topic.
  • Evaluate the information they've found using the website, book, and article criteria  (right).
Exercises & Activities to Use with Your Class
The following exercises are taken from the Signature Course Faculty Toolkit created by Library Instruction Services.
  • Finding and Evaluating Articles from Library Databases – This guide has techniques and exercises to help you teach your students how to select a database, and what techniques to use to find and evaluate articles.
  • Finding and Evaluating Viewpoint Articles from Library Databases – Will your students be researching a controversy? This guide will lead you through teaching them how to find and evaluate viewpoint articles.
  • Using Evidence to Build Arguments – Learn ways to teach your students how to think about finding and evaluating evidence to synthesize into arguments in their papers.
  • Plagiarism Awareness Training (Peer Mentor Training Manual) - Originally created for use by FIG mentors with their students, the exercises included in this training can easily be used within a TA section. Barely any adaption of content is needed since it was created specifically to address first-year students in across the disciplines. 
Databases for First-year Research
The following databases are useful starting places for undergraduate research.  Contact your course librarian to request a customized course research guide with recommended resources specific to your assignments.
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library: A collection of full-text subject encyclopedias.  A great place for students to pre-research a topic and generate keywords for finding more information.
  • Academic Search Complete: Contains popular articles from newspapers and magazines as well as scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles from across disciplines.
  • This Teaching Materials site, developed for lower-level writing courses, suggests starting places for finding particular types of information, such as speeches and images.  Some of the entries include links to search tips or classroom activities that were developed in support of the writing courses, but that could also be used in your courses.
Find Articles tutorial
 

Find Books tutorial