Workshops help students better prepare for research papers

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By Cindy Sepulveda

The Helen Miller Library here at East Los Angeles College offers students a diverse selection of workshops that help students to excel in doing research papers.

All ELAC students are welcome and encouraged to enroll in a workshop that suits their needs. Some of these workshop are “Know Your Library,” “Research Boot Camp,” Got Articles?” and “Smart Googling,” to name a few.  “We offer these workshops to help students develop strong research skills,” Instruction Librarian Amy L. Guy said.

One workshop, students spend time learning how to identify the differences among journals, magazines and newspapers. They get hands-on practice on how to find various types of articles and are also able to gain useful strategies on how to read and understand an assignment prompt using the library’s resources.

Students are taught in a hands-on, exploratory environment where they can identify and select where and what kind of sources are needed to complete their assignment.

For those students who have trouble navigating through the endless amount of online information to find quality research material, ELAC students can benefit from a workshop called “Smart Googling.” Students who attend this workshop gain a positive outlook on how to do credible researching and how to focus on specific online information.

These types of workshop are a great resource for students.

As a current ELAC student, having these types of workshops has personally helped me become a better researcher and has enabled me to gain more insight on web research.

While attending the workshop Librarian Irene Truong taught students how to use Google’s advanced search features.

The workshop is designed to last an hour and with a maximum attendance of 20 students. Troung covered the history of Google and the basics of Google search. She was very hands-on assisting students with the advanced search feature; this feature allows the user to zero in on the type of the information they want to see.

Using the overhead projector, she showed students in great detail how this feature allows the user to obtain the information from a particular webpage like .gov, .org, or .edu.

Truong also provided us with an “Advanced Search Worksheet” that we must fill out.

This worksheet requires the student to do a search on the topic of their choice.

In doing so, this allows the student to get hands on research training on how to search for credible webpages.

While students were working on the worksheet, Truong went to one-on-one with every student in doing this practice.

By the end of the workshop, all the students had a different outlook on Google and were provided with the tools necessary to do smart and credible researching.

Troung said she hopes this workshop helps us to find specific pieces of information that are relevant to the student’s research.

With the dedication of librarians like Guy and Truong, students have a team of people who are behind them and ready to support students.

We are not just allowed to attend one single workshop, instead students are encouraged to attend a variety of workshop.

“Our workshops have a 20 student limit with eight to 20 students who attend the workshop. We never have had to cancel one of our workshops because students always attend,” Guy said.

It is easy to see that students here at ELAC are indeed taking advantage of their resources.

I’m glad to see that there are librarians out there, who still put students first.

Resources like these are what make me eager to still learn and find out new things.

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