Several years ago the University of Rochester hired an anthropologist to help them understand how students did their research. Students were also 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 to you, on how students approached their papers. One of the surprise discoveries is that after students are assigned a research paper, they usually call their parents to ask what they should write about. Also, as students work on their papers, they check in frequently with their parents, even asking for help with editing their papers before they turn them in.
While you may love helping your students with their research papers, we do want to let you know that the library has many resources in place to support your students’ research and writing efforts. These include consultation appointments with librarians or peer research tutors for conducting research, and peer tutor support for writing and editing the papers.
The librarians are available to meet with students as they progress in their research. Your student can make appointments with our team of four research librarians for individualized one-on-one meetings. The librarians have also created Research Guides to support different areas studies offered at Meredith. Librarians are available at the main service desk for drop-in assistance.
Located on the ground floor of the library is The Learning Center, which offers tutoring and editing services. Students can pick their area of study or assistance need and make an appointment with a tutor who 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). The PRTs have been trained by the librarians to aid students as they begin their research projects. During our Student Library Committee meetings, students expressed they would feel more comfortable at times going to a peer for research help. Jeff Waller, who heads the Reference Department, said after hearing our 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.” The PRTs allow students a very accessible way to start their research.
The library website also provides support. In addition to the subject research guides, there are guides covering topics from our information literacy sessions and guides dedicated to citation help, reference sources, and fake news to name a few. We want you and your students to know that the library is here to help them successfully complete any research project during their college career at Meredith!