Forgotten Skills: Browsing

As libraries evolve, more and more research activity is moving online: digitized journals, books, and documents are now the norm, rather than an unexpected treat. We don’t (entirely) regret this change – anyone who has had to wade through bound back issues of journals to find an article, or who has visited Current Periodicals just to look at the tables of contents, understands how much more convenient it is to access academic materials from the comfort of one’s office, home, or cell phone. And we’ve dedicated several posts to the specific skills needed to locate books and articles online. For this post, we’re going old-school with some basics: why should you visit an actual library, and what should you do once you’re there? Continue reading

Help With Undergraduate Research: Making an Argument

We’ve had quite a few posts now on undergraduate essay writing (a general post on academic writing, why you should never write a sandwich essay, and developing a research topic). I refer my students to these resources (and many others developed by universities) all the time for basic essay writing skills, but I’ve recently noticed that many students still struggle with using sources to bolster their argument instead of merely narrating events with provided texts. What follows is a back-to-basics post that I hope will make the distinction a little more clear.

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Help with Research: Publishing

More and more often, students of all levels want to share their discoveries by producing a published work. The good news is that there are many (and increasing numbers of) venues for academic publishing. But that doesn’t mean that they will automatically publish everything that’s sent to them! In fact, that’s a warning sign of a bad publisher. Today’s post offers some tips on getting your work into its best shape, whether you’re an upper-level undergrad or a grad student, and also offers a few caveats for where you shouldn’t submit.

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