As both Dr. K.C. Richardson’s Teaching Assistant and the Student Library Reference Assistant, Neil Baker recently had the opportunity to give a short presentation on research methods to students in the freshman level History and Literature of Ancient Israel course. This was done in order to prepare them for a paper they must write this semester. Neil took this class himself his first semester at HIU, and he hasn’t forgotten the anxiety that many of the students in this class are probably feeling as they prepare to research and write their papers.
Remembering many of the questions he had asked as a beginning Bible student, Neil came to me for help with creating a presentation that would benefit the students. He knows that I give library research presentations in a variety of HIU classes, and that I have experience acquainting new students with the ins and outs of the Darling Library and helping them learn skills to research and write their papers. I was able to help Neil structure his presentation and tailor it to the specific needs of a Bible student.
It is exciting to watch students learn these skills and be able to pass them along!
Here is a quick overview of Neil's experience, in his own words:
“Overall, everything went fairly smoothly. I have to admit that I was a bit nervous—I usually am when speaking in front of a group!—and I don’t remember much of it. However, Dr. Richardson gave me a positive critique afterward, and at least there were no technical glitches.
"It helped knowing that I could relate to many of the students’ situation, as I had been in their position only a few semesters ago. In my case, the most difficult part of the entire process was simply trying to figure out where to begin. With so many articles and books on every imaginable subject, I remember feeling as if someone had shoved me into the deep end of the pool without a single swimming lesson. Hopefully I was able to give them some foundation.
"First, I took the students to the Library's home page and showed them the Library Catalog. The Library Catalog functions as a "discovery tool" to help students discover many print books, ebooks, journal articles, and other resources that are available through both the HIU Library and in other libraries throughout the world. After showing them some options in the Library Catalog using the "Advanced Search" option, I showed them how to search in subject specific Research Databases to find full text journal articles and other resources narrowed down to their subject area (in this case Biblical studies). I also made sure to address some of the specific questions that I asked myself as a student in K.C.'s class, such as "What is the difference between an article and a book review?"