Writing right at night

The Library Commons is located on the third floor of the Manning Academic Center. (Photo by Tyler Turk)

For those who need guidance with conducting research and citing sources, a new series of library workshops are designed to help students. The library will hold a series of workshops from Oct. 3 to Nov. 15 to review citations, research, and offer practical presentation tips.

Late Night Against Procrastination event helps students to battle procrastination and promote time management.

“We’re teaching [students] a lot about how to recognize good sources, how to synthesize important information, and how to integrate all of the information into a paper,” said Sue Bonsteel, director of the library.

Three workshops will be held every Wednesday at 2 p.m. at the Owings Mills Library: Cite It Right, Research Road Map, and Practical Presentation Tips. The Cite It Right and Research Road Map workshops will “focus on understanding citations and how to properly format them, and where to find help when you [students] have questions, and the tools and resources available at the library,” said Bonsteel.

A works cited page at the end of a research paper or presentation is important because it shows the reader that the writer has done the proper research. Works cited pages allow students to give credit to other researchers for their ideas. This allows writers to avoid plagiarizing people’s work. By citing sources, writers give readers a chance to track down the sources used to learn more about the topic of the research paper. While figuring out how to properly cite sources can be difficult, it is important to understand why these sources matter when doing work. These workshops are the perfect place to learn the proper way to properly support findings.

The Practical Presentation Tips workshop will focus on showing students the best practices for using PowerPoint and showing some alternatives to PowerPoint, such as Prezi.

“Most students need to learn when and where they need to use [citations],” said Dr. Laura T. Smith, chair and associate professor of English. “The library’s workshops can address students’ immediate needs while also helping them build their overall information literacy with the university’s information experts–our librarians.”

The American Library Association says workshops like these will help students recognize when information is needed, providing them with the ability to both effectively locate and evaluate the important information. Students are faced with an expanding quantity of information. Not only is information literacy important during school and classes, it is a skill that will apply to almost every profession.

The workshops offered in the library are a resource for students to expand their knowledge and understanding of citations and how to succeed during presentations.

Along with citing, procrastination can be another issue that students face when writing research papers. Stevenson’s inaugural Late Night Against Procrastination (LNAP) event will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 15 from 7-11 p.m. in the School of Business Library. Similar workshops takes place on college campuses worldwide to increase student use of academic support services such as research, guidance and tutoring.

Faculty members may want to encourage students who may need extra help in the final weeks of the semester to attend. Students will be able to drop in to receive help with research and citation. Participants also have a chance to meet with a peer writing tutor; and participate in stress-reducing crafts, massages, and a late-night pizza party. This library-hosted event is held in collaboration with the Office of Student Success, the Academic Link, the English department, and the Wellness Center.

For more information about the library workshops, visit the Portal page or contact Sue Bonsteel through campus email.

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