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SPURS - guide for instructors

Find Sources

Find sources

Left to their own devices, students will do all of their searching on Google. It is important that students be proficient in searching the web as well as evaluating the information they find on the web (more on that later). It is important to keep in mind as you teach students, that they are not 'media literate' - they don't know the role a newspaper serves in our information lives (and may have never even held one in print), nor do they recognize that John Oliver is not a political scientist, but a comedian creating content for entertainment purposes. They also do not know the difference between columnists and journalists (whether on tv or in print). We take these facts for granted and it is intuitive for us, so keep in mind that choosing a place to search for information is a new concept for students - to them, it's all a search bar.

Use the tabs to direct your students to types of information - make sure to let them know what they will find in each type and why they should consult those resources.

You can work with students to choose a database better tailored to their research need. Ask them, if you were on a college campus, and you needed to ask an expert about your topic, to which department would you go?

Databases by Subject: Choose a database by academic discipline to search the literature of that field. (Example: CINAHL for Nursing)

Keep in mind that UT subscribes to hundreds of databases and that it is very overwhelming (to anyone). Ask a librarian or try out a scoUT search (searches across most of our subscriptions), which will be very broad, to see which subject areas your topic is covered in.

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Choosing a topic - locally

When choosing a topic with a local viewpoint, you need to have students familiarize themselves with local issues and conversations.

Train students to immerse themselves in local issues before choosing a topic.

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