Several years ago the University of Rochester hired an anthropologist to help them understand how students did their research. Students were asked about their paper-writing process. The study was reported in the Chronicle of Higher Education and contained quite few surprises for the librarians, but maybe not for parents and families, on how students approached their papers.
One of the surprising discoveries is that after students are assigned a research paper, they almost always call their parents to ask what they should write about. Also, as students work on their papers, they check in frequently with their families, even asking for help with editing their papers before they turn them in.
One way you can help your student with their academic work is to encourage them to use the resources available to them through the Carlyle Campbell Library. Academic libraries have many resources in place to support student research and writing efforts. Libraries have established multiple ways a student can seek out research assistance. These include consultation appointments with librarians, websites available around the clock with helpful research guides on multiple subjects, and peer tutors, who can assist students not only with research, but with citing, editing, and subject tutoring.
For example, at Meredith’s Carlyle Campbell Library, the librarians are available to meet with students as they progress in their research. A student can make appointments with our team of four research librarians for individualized one-on-one meetings. Librarians are also available at the main service desk for drop-in assistance.
Located on the ground floor of the Carlyle Campbell Library is the Learning Center, where students have access to tutoring and editing services. Students can pick their area of study or assistance need and make an appointment with a tutor that specializes in that particular field. These tutors can also help students edit their papers and ensure they are citing sources properly.
The Learning Center also offers specialized research tutors called Peer Research Tutors (PRTs). These PRTs have been trained by the librarians to aid students as they begin their research projects. During a survey of Meredith College students, many expressed that they would feel more comfortable at times going to a peer for research help. The trained PRTs allow these students a very accessible way to start their research.
Jeff Waller, head of the Library’s Reference Department, said after hearing students’ comments and seeing a trend in “studies showing that some students are more comfortable approaching their peers for assistance,” he wanted “to give our students this opportunity.”
In addition, Carlyle Campbell Library’s website offers accessible research support to students. Located on the website are Research Guides, created by our research Librarians, which support different areas studies offered at Meredith. In addition to the subject research guides, there are guides covering topics on information literacy sessions, citation help, reference sources, and newspapers, to name a few.
No matter which college or university your child attends, academic libraries have services and resources in place to help your son or daughter navigate the ins and outs of conducting research. Libraries have multiple outlets for students to use based on their individual comfort level and learning style. Students may always seek guidance from a parent, so it is important for parents to be aware that college and university libraries are here to help your student successfully complete any research project during their college career.