COLLEGE RESEARCH SURVIVAL SKILLS

November 20, 2019 0 By Kody Olson


MORE THAN ANYTHING,
I WANT MY STUDENTS TO KNOW THAT WE HAVE A LIBRARY,
THAT THEY EVEN EXIST. MANY TIMES, MY STUDENTS
COME INTO MY CLASSES AND I ASK THEM,
“WHERE’S THE LIBRARY?” AND THEY HAVE NO IDEA
WHERE THE LIBRARY IS BECAUSE THEY’RE SO
USED TO USING THE INTERNET.
SO PART OF MY CLASS– ONE OF THE PURPOSES
I HAVE IN MY CLASS IS TO GET THEM INTO THE LIBRARY,
TO GET THEM TO UNDERSTAND TERMINOLOGY ABOUT THE LIBRARY,
TO UNDERSTAND WHEN I SAY,
“GO TO THE STACKS AND FIND A JOURNAL,”
THEY UNDERSTAND WHAT THAT MEANS.
WHEN I ASK THEM TO USE
THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS SUBJECT GUIDE HEADINGS
TO HELP THEM FIND THE RIGHT TERMS
TO SEARCH ON, THAT THEY UNDERSTAND
WHAT THAT MEANS, THAT THEY KNOW
WHO THE LIBRARIANS ARE. I ALWAYS TELL MY STUDENTS,
“THE LIBRARIANS ARE YOUR FRIENDS.
“THEY’RE NOT GOING TO WRITE
THAT PAPER FOR YOU, “BUT THEY’RE GOING
TO HELP YOU FIND THE RIGHT INFORMATION
TO GET THAT PAPER DONE.” WHEN I WAS IN THE ACADEMIC–
OR THE INDUSTRIAL WORLD, I WAS NOT GIVEN THE
ANSWER TO THE PROBLEM.
I WAS GIVEN THE PROBLEM, AND I HAD TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM.
THAT IS WHAT I WANT MY STUDENTS
TO BE ABLE TO DO. NOW, HOW DO THEY SOLVE
THAT PROBLEM? THEY GO ABOUT
FINDING THE INFORMATION. THEY GO ABOUT LOOKING
IT UP IN A JOURNAL
OR LOCATING THAT INFORMATION AND FINDING OUT
WHAT HAS BEEN DONE IN THE PAST. FIRST THING IN A PROBLEM,
YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAS BEEN DONE
BECAUSE I NEED TO GO FORWARD
WITH THAT PROBLEM OR SOLVE IT. AND SO WHERE DO I
FIND THE PROBLEM?
AT MY INFORMATION SOURCE.
WHAT’S MY INFORMATION SOURCE?
THE LIBRARY. [ MUSIC ]
– SO WHAT I WANT TO DO
IS INTRODUCE STUDENTS TO A VARIETY OF ISSUES
IN CLASS THAT LEFT THEM
WITH UNANSWERED QUESTIONS. THE GOAL OF RESEARCH
THEN IS TO GO SEEK PRIMARY SOURCES
AND SECONDARY SCHOLARSHIP TO
ANSWER THOSE QUESTIONS IN CLASS. SO YOU COME UP WITH
A VARIETY OF DIFFERENT QUESTIONS
THAT HAVEN’T BEEN ANSWERED, AND
THEN WE MOVE INTO THE LIBRARY AND WORK
WITH SPECIALIST LIBRARIANS TO BROADEN
THE STUDENTS’ KNOWLEDGE. – WHEN I TEACH MY
STUDENTS ABOUT DEVELOPING A RESEARCH QUESTION
AND EVENTUALLY GETTING TO A THESIS STATEMENT,
I TRY TO IMPRESS UPON THEM
THE IMPORTANCE OF TAKING TIME, THAT IT’S NOT AN EASY
OR QUICK PROCESS, THAT THERE HAS TO
BE A LOT OF TIME AND THOUGHT PUT INTO IT.
THE IDEAS CAN DEVELOP IF THEY GIVE THEIR SUBCONSCIOUS
SOME TIME TO WORK ON IT.
SO WE START WITH JUST A BASIC
CONTROLLING QUESTION TO GET THEM TO THINK
ABOUT WHAT THEY WANT THEIR RESEARCH PAPER
TO ANSWER OVERALL. THAT SEEMS TO BE
AN EASIER PLACE TO BEGIN. AND FROM THERE,
WE START TO DEVELOP A SOLID THESIS STATEMENT.
BUT USUALLY, THEY SUBMIT
A THESIS STATEMENT TO ME TWO, THREE,
MAYBE EVEN FOUR TIMES BEFORE WE REALLY GET
SOMETHING THAT WILL WORK
FOR A 10-PAGE PAPER. SO I’D SAY IF I
WAS FORMULATING A RESEARCH QUESTION,
THE QUESTION WOULD BE
THE VERY LAST THING I DID. WHAT I DO FIRST
IS WORK ON ALL OF MY RESEARCH. I DO ALL MY READING
ON SOMETHING THAT I’M INTERESTED IN.
AND THEN WHEN I WAS DONE
READING EVERYTHING, I GO, “OKAY, THIS
IS WHAT I WANT TO WRITE ABOUT,”
AND THEN I GO BACK THROUGH ALL MY NOTES
AND REALLY FOCUS ON THAT THEME.
[ MUSIC ] YOU GUYS GROW UP
WITH THE INTERNET AND IT’S AMAZING.
IT IS AMAZING, BUT I THINK YOU FORGET
THAT THERE’S BOOKS IN HERE. I THINK THAT THAT’S
SUCH A BETTER PLACE TO LOOK FOR,
LIKE I SAID, BECAUSE IT’S TANGIBLE.
I CAN LOOK–AND I CAN LOOK
AT THOSE REFERENCES AND I CAN LOOK
AT SURROUNDING BOOKS, YOU KNOW,
THAT’S IN THE SAME TOPIC. SO PLEASE COME TO
THE LIBRARY. I KNOW THAT YOU THINK
IT’S MORE WORK TO ACTUALLY MAKE A
PHYSICAL TRIP IN THE LIBRARY,
OPEN A BOOK, CHECK A BOOK OUT.
I PROMISE YOU, I PROMISE YOU,
IT’S NOT GOING TO BE MORE WORK. IT’S ACTUALLY GOING
TO MAKE YOUR WORK A LOT EASIER. WHEN I’VE USED THE
TERM ONLINE DATABASE,
STUDENTS IMMEDIATELY THINK,
GOOGLE. 00:04:03:14 00:04:05:19 THEY THINK WIKIPEDIA.
THEY THINK YAHOO. THEY THINK SEARCH
ENGINES. THEY DON’T UNDERSTAND
THAT WE HAVE A HOST OF DATABASES
HERE IN OUR LIBRARY THAT INCLUDE ARTICLES
FROM JOURNALS, FROM OTHER PUBLICATIONS,
FROM PERIODICALS THAT ARE NOT JUST
WHAT PEOPLE POST ON THE INTERNET.
SO I DON’T THINK THAT THEY ARE COMPLETELY FAMILIAR
WITH THE IDEA OF AN ONLINE DATABASE
UNTIL WE HELP THEM TO UNDERSTAND THAT.
BUT THEN WHEN THEY GET
INTO RESEARCHING USING ONLINE DATABASES,
THEY START TO RECOGNIZES– RECOGNIZE THAT THERE
ARE IN FACT ARTICLES, NEWSPAPER ARTICLES,
JOURNAL ARTICLES THAT WILL HELP
INFORM THEIR ARGUMENT. ONE OF THE THINGS
I LOVE THE MOST THAT I TRY TO GET
MY STUDENTS TO UNDERSTAND IS THAT
THEY CAN RESEARCH AT TWO
IN THE MORNING IN THEIR PAJAMAS IF THEY KNOW HOW TO
USE THE ONLINE DATABASES
THAT WE HAVE AVAILABLE FOR THEM,
AND THAT IT’S NOT STRICTLY
INTERNET SOURCES. QUICKLY
BUT TO BE BEST PREPARED, THEY WOULD NEED TO
KNOW HOW TO DO ONLINE RESEARCH,
HOW TO USE SCHOLARLY ENCYCLOPEDIAS,
TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PRIMARY
AND SECONDARY RESOURCES AND, AGAIN, TO INTERROGATE
THEIR SOURCES FOR VERACITY. WHEN I TEACH MY
STUDENTS ABOUT SOURCES,
WE SPEND A LOT OF TIME
ON THAT AS WELL BECAUSE I WANT THEM
TO LEARN THAT THE QUALITY OF THEIR PAPER
IS DEPENDENT UPON THE QUALITY
OF THEIR SOURCES. AND SO WE WORK AT
DECIDING WHAT GOOD SOURCES ARE
AND, OF COURSE, THAT MEANS
A TRIP TO THE LIBRARY, SEVERAL TRIPS TO THE
LIBRARY. [ MUSIC ]
– OKAY, I START YOU OFF
WORKING IN GROUPS, EVALUATING PEER-REVIEWED
JOURNAL ARTICLES, AND YOU NEED TO–
YOU WILL NEED TO BE ABLE TO FIND WHAT THE ABSTRACT
IS, WHAT ITS PURPOSE IS.
YOU’LL NEED TO FIND WHO THE AUTHORS ARE,
WHO DO YOU CONTACT IF YOU NEED TO CONTACT SOMEBODY
IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION. WHO THEIR FUNDING
SOURCE WAS, AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT
TO KNOW WHAT THEIR FUNDING SOURCE WAS?
WHAT MATERIALS AND METHODS DID
THEY USE FOR THAT EXPERIMENT? WHAT WAS THEIR HYPOTHESIS,
AND WHAT WERE THEIR CONCLUSIONS? YOU’RE GOING TO DO
THAT THE FIRST DAY IN CLASS,
IN MY CLASS. AND SO LIBRARY SKILLS
ARE CRITICALLY IMPORTANT AND, YOU KNOW, NOT
JUST WHEN YOU’RE IN SCHOOL
BUT ALSO AFTER YOU GRADUATE,
AFTER YOU GO TO GRADUATE SCHOOL. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT I USED
TO USE AS A STUDENT, AND I THINK
IT’S THE SECRET TREASURE MAP THAT PEOPLE DON’T
USE ENOUGH IS THE REFERENCES
AT THE BACK OF AN ARTICLE.
SO SOMETIMES, I THINK STUDENTS
GET SO OVERWHELMED. WE DIDN’T DO A LOT
OF INTERNET RESEARCH WHEN I WAS IN SCHOOL.
SO NOW I FEEL LIKE STUDENTS
ARE REALLY OVERWHELMED. THEY CAN GO TO THE
LIBRARY, BUT THEY FEEL LIKE
THEY CAN JUST GOOGLE EVERYTHING.
YOU’RE INUNDATED WITH INFORMATION.
I’M NOT SAYING JUST COME
TO THE LIBRARY BECAUSE I’M OLD SCHOOL
AND I LIKE LIBRARIES. IT’S BECAUSE IT GIVES
YOU YOUR LITTLE TREASURE MAP
AT THE END OF THE ARTICLE.
EVEN IF YOU FIND AN ONLINE ARTICLE,
THERE’S ALWAYS A REFERENCE, OR USUALLY, THERE
SHOULD BE REFERENCE LIST AT THE BACK,
USE THAT. THAT NARROWS DOWN
YOUR INFORMATION BECAUSE THIS AUTHOR
THAT YOU OBVIOUSLY THINK IS A GOOD AUTHOR,
AND IT’S A GOOD ARTICLE, THIS IS WHAT HE OR
SHE USED IN HIS OR HER ARTICLE.
AND SO THAT JUST GIVES YOU
A DIRECTION INSTEAD OF YOU, KIND OF, YOU KNOW,
WANDERING OUT IN THE WILDERNESS OF RESOURCES.
YOU ALREADY HAVE SOME. I’M NOT SAYING YOU’RE
GOING TO FIND ALL OF THEM,
BUT IF YOU COULD FIND A COUPLE OF THEM,
THAT WOULD BE A LOT BETTER
THAN WASTING TIME ON GOOGLE. A COLLEGE-LEVEL PAPERS
REQUIRE COLLEGE-LEVEL RESOURCES. AND THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT
BECAUSE YOU ARE AT A CERTAIN LEVEL.
GRADE SCHOOL LEVEL BOOKS
ARE NOT GONNA WORK. INFORMAL THINGS ON
THE INTERNET, WHERE YOU DON’T KNOW
WHERE IT’S FROM, IT’S NOT GOING TO
WORK. IF YOU ARE NOT SURE
OF A SOURCE, IF YOU DO NOT KNOW
WHO’S PUTTING OUT THAT SOURCE, WHO’S PUTTING OUT
THAT WEBSITE, I WOULD SAY, DON’T
USE IT UNLESS YOU CHECK
WITH YOUR INSTRUCTOR. [ MUSIC ]
SO ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I’M REALLY STRESSING
WITH MY STUDENTS TODAY IS ANY TIME THEY USE
ANY TYPE OF OUTSIDE SOURCE, WHETHER IT BE A TEXTBOOKS,
WHETHER IT BE THE INTERNET, WHETHER IT BE ANYTHING
FROM WIKIPEDIA TO ANYTHING
FROM HARVARD UNIVERSITY, THEY HAVE TO CITE
THE SOURCE. AND UNFORTUNATELY,
THEY BELIEVE THAT IF THEY’RE USING SOMETHING
WORD FOR WORD, THAT’S THE ONLY TIME
THEY HAVE TO CITE THE SOURCE, WHICH IS ABSOLUTELY
INCORRECT. ANY TIME THEY USE
AN IMAGE, ANY TIME THEY USE A FIGURE,
ANY TIME THEY PARAPHRASE ANYTHING FROM A SOURCE,
THEY MUST CITE THE SOURCE.
NOW ONE OF THE BIGGEST QUESTIONS
ALL MY STUDENTS ASK ME IS, WELL, IF WE HAVE
TO CITE A WHOLE BUNCH
AND WE HAVE TO SHOW WHERE ALL THESE IDEAS CAME FROM,
MY PAPER IS GOING TO BE FULL
OF CITATIONS AND NOTHING’S GONNA
BE MY OWN. YES, THAT’S CORRECT.
IN A PAPER FOR A PHILOSOPHY CLASS,
I EXPECT VERY LITTLE TO COME
FROM THE STUDENT. THERE’S GOING TO BE
A SECTION WHERE IT’S OWN YOUR IDEAS
ARE FORMULATING. YOU SAY, ALL RIGHT,
AFTER I’VE THOUGHT ABOUT THIS REALLY HARD,
NOW, I’M GONNA TELL YOU
WHAT I THINK ABOUT IT. BUT THAT’S NOT GONNA
BE A HUGE PART OF IT.
YOU’RE A FRESHMAN IN COLLEGE.
YOU’RE JUST LEARNING HOW TO DO
THIS ACADEMIC EXPERIENCE. YOU’RE JUST LEARNING
HOW TO THINK ON YOUR OWN,
AND YOU’RE JUST LEARNING HOW
TO READ THESE BOOKS WITH A CRITICAL EYE.
I DON’T EXPECT YOU TO BE MASTERS
WHO CAN PUT OUT BOOKS ON YOUR OWN YET.
WHAT WE’RE TRYING TO LEARN
RIGHT NOW IS THE VERY STARTING
POINT WHICH IS READ SOMETHING,
MAKE SENSE OF IT AND SEE IF WE CAN PUT
OUR OWN LITTLE SPIN ON IT.
ONE IS ON SOURCES ITSELF
SO PLAGIARISM, DON’T DO IT. IT’S NOT WORTH IT.
I PROMISE YOU, IT’S NOT WORTH IT.
IF YOU PLAGIARIZE– AND I PROMISE YOU,
WE WILL FIND IT BECAUSE WE HATE PLAGIARISM–
I WILL SPEND WEEKS LOOKING FOR IT,
AND WHEN I FIND IT, I’M GOING TO GIVE YOU A ZERO.
YOU DON’T KNOW HOW DETRIMENTAL
A ZERO IS IN A GRADE BOOK. IT’S LIKE A BLACK
HOLE. SO EVEN IF YOU DID
REALLY WELL ON ALL YOUR OTHER ASSIGNMENTS,
WITH THAT BIG FAT ZERO
IN THE GRADE BOOK, IT’S SUCKING DOWN
THE REST OF YOUR GRADE.
IF YOU HAD JUST TYPED UP
SOMETHING REALLY CRUMMY, WELL, AT LEAST
I COULD GIVE YOU– EVEN IF YOU GOT AN
F, RIGHT? THAT’S 50 PERCENT,
RIGHT? 50 POINTS OUT OF 100.
AT LEAST YOU HAVE 50 POINTS
INSTEAD OF A BIG ZERO. SO IF YOU’RE EVER
WONDERING WHETHER TO DO IT,
JUST DON’T DO IT. [ MUSIC ]
SO WHEN STUDENTS ARE COMING IN
AND THEY’RE WORKING ON A RESEARCH PAPER,
WE WANT STUDENTS TO USE
PROFESSIONAL INFORMATION, INFORMATION IN THE
FIELD, AND THAT IS OUT THERE
PUT OUT BY PROFESSIONALS,
AND THAT’S IMPORTANT. AND THESE ARE THE
SOURCES WE FIND IN OUR LIBRARY.
INSTRUCTORS WORK WITH THE LIBRARIANS
IN RESEARCHING AND FINDING BOOKS
TO PUT ON OUR SHELVES, BOOKS THAT ARE RECENT,
BOOKS THAT ARE UP-TO-DATE, BOOKS THAT ARE PUT
OUT BY PROFESSIONALS.
THE TROUBLE WITH THE INTERNET
IS THAT SOMETIMES YOU CAN ENCOUNTER
MATERIALS THAT ARE NOT
PROFESSIONAL SOURCES, THEY ARE NOT USING
REAL DATA, OR THEY ARE USING
DATA IN INCORRECT WAYS.
SO IT’S VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU USE ACADEMIC SOURCES,
THAT YOU USE PROFESSIONAL SOURCES,
AND A LOT OF STUDENTS TRY
TO AVOID THAT BECAUSE THOSE ARE
HARDER TO READ,
BUT THAT’S THE POINT. THAT’S HOW
YOU’RE GOING TO LEARN SOMETHING. HOW DO I DETERMINE
WHAT’S A RELIABLE SOURCE? HOW DO I DETERMINE
VALIDITY OF A SOURCE OR OF THE RESEARCH?
NOW SOME PEOPLE, SOME OF THAT
HIGHER LEVEL DETERMINATION AND STATISTICAL ANALYSIS
WOULD BE MORE APPROPRIATE MAYBE AT A BACHELOR’S
LEVEL. BUT THERE IS ALWAYS
AN ENTRY LEVEL OF BASIC DISCERNING
OF VALID, RELIABLE RESEARCH DATA.
WHAT CAN I USE? WE ALL KNOW WIKIPEDIA
IS NOT THE SOURCE. IT IS NOT OUR PREFERRED
SOURCE. CAN YOU USE WIKIPEDIA
LIKE A DICTIONARY? ABSOLUTELY.
BUT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY WOULD BE TO KNOW
WHEN COULD YOU– WHEN DO YOU NEED
TO USE SOMETHING MORE SCHOLARLY THAN WIKIPEDIA.
WIKIPEDIA IS JUST THAT,
IT’S LIKE A DICTIONARY, THEREFORE, IT’S NOT
THE END-ALL, BE-ALL.
AND YOU’LL LEARN A LOT
ABOUT WHY IT’S NOT THE END-ALL, BE-ALL
AND HOW IT CAN BE CHANGED
AND ALTERED, THEREFORE, MAKING
IT NOT NECESSARY
THE MOST RELIABLE SOURCE.
BUT BASED ON YOUR OWN KNOWLEDGE,
YOU COULD LOOK UP SOMETHING LIKE DEEP VEIN THROMBOSIS
AND SAY, “WELL, WHAT ARE THEY
TALKING ABOUT?” GET A BASIC DEFINITION,
AND THEN FROM THERE, DO AN APPROPRIATE
SEARCH ON AN INTERNET
WITH A RELIABLE ENGINE
TO BE ABLE TO DETERMINE “AM I REALLY OBTAINING
SCHOLARLY INFORMATION, ACTUAL RESEARCH THAT’S
BEEN DONE ON A VERY SPECIFIC POPULATION.”
– I ASK MY STUDENTS TO BE ABLE
TO QUALIFY THEIR SOURCES. AND WHAT I MEAN
BY QUALIFYING SOURCES IS THAT THEY HAVE TO UNDERSTAND
THAT WHEN THEY HAVE A SOURCE,
WE HAVE TO RECOGNIZE AS RESEARCHERS
THAT THIS SOURCE IS IN FACT CREDIBLE.
SO THAT MEANS THEY HAVE TO UNDERSTAND
WHAT ARE THE AUTHOR’S CREDENTIALS?
WHAT GIVES THE AUTHOR THE AUTHORITY
OR THE RIGHT TO WRITE ABOUT A PARTICULAR SUBJECT?
SO THEY COME INTO THE LIBRARY.
THEY USE REFERENCE MATERIAL
THAT HELPS THEM TO FIND INFORMATION
ABOUT WHO THE AUTHOR IS,
WHAT THE AUTHOR’S EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND IS,
WHAT THEIR PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND.
AND IT THEN HELPS THE STUDENT TO RECOGNIZE
THAT, YES, THIS FACT, IN FACT, IS A CREDIBLE SOURCE
AND THE AUTHOR IS CREDIBLE,
AND IT WILL BE ACCEPTABLE TO ME AS THEIR TEACHER WHEN
THEY WRITE THEIR RESEARCH PAPER.
– I THINK THE BEST WAY
TO FIND RELIABLE SOURCES, PARTICULARLY ONLINE,
IS TO MAKE SURE YOU USE A LIBRARY WEBSITE
OR AN EDU WEBSITE. BUT AS A HISTORIAN
I PREFER SCHOLARLY JOURNALS, SCHOLARLY EDITED
AND PRODUCED PUBLICATIONS WRITTEN BY EXPERTS
IN THE FIELD. I THINK WHEN IN DOUBT,
ALWAYS CHECK WITH YOUR PROFESSOR,
WORK WITH THE LIBRARIANS, DON’T USE WEBSITES
LIKE GOOGLE AND WIKIPEDIA. EVEN GOOGLE SCHOLAR,
TO THIS POINT, HASN’T REALLY BEEN
TESTED BY OTHER SCHOLARS
TO SEE HOW CREDIBLE IT IS.
SO USE TRADITIONAL FORMS
OF RESEARCH. [ MUSIC ] – I JUST WANT THEM
TO BECOME CURIOUS ABOUT EVERYTHING
AND THIS RESEARCH PROJECT
GIVES THEM THAT OPPORTUNITY IF THEY’LL TAKE ADVANTAGE
OF IT. – WHAT I’M NOTICING
IS MANY OF MY STUDENTS
THAT ARE COMING IN MY CLASSROOM,
ALTHOUGH SOME OF THEM MAY BE PREPARED,
SOME OF THEM–MANY OF THEM
MAY BE UNDERPREPARED. UNFORTUNATELY, MANY
STUDENTS THAT COME INTO MY CLASSROOM–
IF THEY FEEL THAT THEY HAVE
TO ASK QUESTIONS, UNFORTUNATELY THAT
MEANS THAT THEY’RE DUMB.
I ALSO HAD THAT FEELING BACK WHEN I WAS IN COLLEGE
BECAUSE WHEN I WAS GOING THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL,
RARELY ASK ANY QUESTIONS BECAUSE I WAS GETTING A’S
AND B’S IN CLASS, SO THEREFORE, I’M PRETTY SMART.
I NEVER HAD TO ASK ANY QUESTIONS,
SO I’M DOING JUST FINE.
WELL, THEN I GET INTO COLLEGE,
AND THEN I REALIZED THAT I WASN’T DOING
VERY WELL IN MY CLASSES,
AND I JUST STILL WASN’T ASKING ANY QUESTIONS
BECAUSE ONLY THE DUMB PEOPLE
ASK QUESTIONS. IT WAS ABOUT MY JUNIOR
YEAR WHEN I FINALLY REALIZED,
YOU KNOW WHAT, I NEED TO ASK QUESTIONS.
SO WHETHER THAT BE YOU
AT THE LIBRARY, WHETHER THAT BE COMING
TO OFFICE HOURS, AND I REALIZED THAT
EVEN ASKING THE SIMPLEST QUESTION,
FOR EXAMPLE, “IS THIS GOING TO
BE ON THE TEST?”
THEN I KNOW WHAT’S GONNA BE
ON THE TEST. SHOULD I STUDY
OR SHOULD I NOT? SO WOULD GET CLUES
FROM MY PROFESSORS. WHEN IT CAME TO RESEARCH,
I WOULD GO TO LIBRARIANS AND I’D ASK THEM.
IT MAY HAVE BEEN THE SIMPLEST THING
LIKE HOW DO I TURN THE COMPUTER ON
OR WHERE DO I FIND A PARTICULAR BOOK,
YOU HAVE TO ASK QUESTIONS. – THAT SOME STUDENTS
MAY FEEL THAT LIBRARIES ARE KIND OF SCARY.
THEY’RE USUALLY BIG, IMPOSING BUILDINGS,
AND IF YOU’VE NEVER SPENT
MUCH TIME IN A LIBRARY, IT MAY SEEM
VERY OFF-PUTTING TO YOU. BUT I WANT YOU TO
KNOW THAT YOUR LIBRARY AT BC
IS A VERY FRIENDLY PLACE.
THE LIBRARIANS DO NOT BITE.
THEY LIVE FOR STUDENTS TO COME
IN AND ASK THEM QUESTIONS. AND SO DON’T BE AFRAID
TO GO IN AND ASK FOR HELP.
DO NOT BE AFRAID TO GO UP TO
A REFERENCE LIBRARIAN AND SAY, “I’M HAVING TROUBLE
FINDING SOMETHING.” THAT’S THEIR JOB
AND THEY LOVE DOING THEIR JOB AND THEY LOVE TO HELP
YOU. – I THINK THE BEST
WAY TO MAKE KNOWLEDGE YOUR OWN
AND TO BE EXCITED ABOUT IT
IS THROUGH RESEARCH. AND IN MANY CLASSES
AT BAKERSFIELD COLLEGE AND OTHER UNIVERSITIES,
YOU WILL HAVE THE FREEDOM
TO FIND A PROJECT THAT REFLECTS YOUR
INTEREST, YOUR PASSION, YOUR FUTURE.
SO DON’T BE LAZY. TAKE THE INITIATIVE
TO WORK HARD, TO PUSH YOUR IDEAS
TO THE EDGE, GET THE SOURCES THAT
YOU NEED THAT ARE LESS FREQUENTLY USED
TO MAKE A CREATIVE ORIGINAL ARGUMENT.
AND I WANT TO KEEP IN MIND
THAT OFTEN STUDENTS FEEL LIKE THEY HAVE TO
READ AND MEMORIZE EVERYTHING.
I WOULD ENCOURAGE STUDENTS
TO HAVE A POSITION ON SOMETHING. FOR EXAMPLE, DO YOU
BELIEVE IN AFFIRMATIVE ACTION OR NOT?
DO YOU BELIEVE IN GAY RIGHTS OR NOT?
AND THEN AS YOU READ ARTICLES
AND INFORMATION ABOUT THESE, FIT THEM
INTO YOUR CURRENT POSITION AND HOPEFULLY
YOUR POSITIONS WILL CHANGE AND BECOME MORE NUANCED
AS YOU READ MORE. BUT SO THE ADVICE
IS INSTEAD OF MEMORIZING, UNDERSTAND AND RELATE
IT TO YOUR OWN STANCE ON ISSUES.
[ MUSIC ]