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PHYS 470: Session Introduction & Assignment

+Library Instruction Goals

This guide should help you:

Form an approach to initiating an assignment.
Identify the use of information sources based on the type of information (i.e. books for background)

Use keywords from a research question or statement to search.

Distinguish differences between popular and scholarly articles.

Explore topics for your paper or project. What motivates you?

Explore the library's information resources.

Start to gather information for an assignment.

    Great Places To Look For Ideas!

    TED talks are a fantastic way to get seminar research ideas!

    Science In the News - from NPR ("SciFriday" with Ira Flatow) is an amazing resource of tons of interesting bits about all aspects of science, including physics!


    "Spotlighting Exceptional Research" is the tagline for this all-physics resource.  



    Research Proposal & Library Work

    Your research proposal is an identification of your project, the reasons for interest in your project (including background on your project), and a report of your goals for the research.  With the guidance of the physics faculty you will investigate and plan your physics research project into various parts of increasing complexity.  

     Successful research proposals usually have the following components:  an informative, descriptive title, an abstract of the proposal, an introduction that includes a clearly stated researc question, the context of the question, and a cursory review of the relevant scientific literature (Note - this is why you have a library session!), a research methohd, a list of cited references, and finally, if necessary, a prioritized budget, providing a detailed description of each item and cost.  

    Library work will be required as deemed necessary by the physics research faculty.  You will be expected to explore the conceptual background, investigate the needed resources and materials, and justify the research proposal for your chosen research topic.  Much of the preliminary work in drafting a research proposal requires careful and thorough collecting and reading of professional publications.  

    (above taken directly from Physics Research Seminar: Physics 470 syllabus)

    +Assignment and research approach

    Sometimes, a structured approach to research can help to organize ideas and the way you think about information sources:  

    1. Explore topic basics (casual web searching)
    2. Background (library catalog: books)
    3. Current research / current scholarly discussion  (library databases: journal articles)
    4. Support your argument (source citation)
    5. Drafts & revisions (research librarians & learning commons)