First Year Seminar & Personal Librarians

First Year Seminar courses introduce research skills and citation styles in collaboration with library staff, and address academic integrity and plagiarism. Through their first year seminar course work, students should have opportunities to demonstrate an ability to engage in foundational research.  Each FS section will be assigned a personal librarian that your students can consult to develop their research skills.  See FS outcomes.

What First Year Seminar faculty ask students to do 

Drama & Culture (FS112)

Nick Clary
Frank Nicholas Clary requires students to use print and online reference sources as well as periodical databases to acquire materials that will enrich and clarify the reading of scholarly texts such as Good Woman of Setzuan and dramatists such as Bertolt Brecht. During a research instruction session students are guided by the librarian and the professor to locate sources providing historical context and cultural and literary insight.


Examined Life (FS111)

Elizabeth Inness-Brown
Liz Inness-Brown schedules an instruction session with a librarian to provide her students an opportunity to further their understanding of academic integrity and plagiarism and to introduce them to the MLA documentation style.  Students are introduced to the periodical databases, learn how to use RefWorks to manage their research, and discover how to use the databases to develop bibliographies that measure up to course expectations.


Joan Wagner 
Joan Wagner asks students to locate several article-length works and at least one book-length work of creative non-fiction (memoir) as well as a scholarly article about the art, craft, use, or impact of the genre.  In a librarian-led instruction session students learn to successfully search the library catalog and key databases as well as to cite correctly the sources they will ultimately use and compare in their written assignment.


Jennifer Purcell
Jennifer Purcell's students participate in a library research session and learn how to use several periodical databases to locate primary source materials that provide a historical context to course readings such as George Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and London (1933). Databases include the New York Times Historical and the London Times, two databases that provide a rich context for the early twentieth century.


Bridget Kerr
Bridgett Kerr asks her students to imagine a career/life work that speaks to who they are (money, or lack thereof, need not hinder career choices in this life).  In preparation for writing their essays, students must do research to 1) find out about their chosen job/career fields; 2) learn how one ought to prepare to do this work; 3) discover what kind of working conditions to expect; 4) read what someone in that career has to say about the chosen path.  Working with a librarian in class, students learn to effectively search the library catalog and both general and subject-specific article databases to find pertinent background information and recent articles which focus on the type of work the students want to do as well as the people who are currently engaged in the career field.


Global Studies (FS136)

William Wilson
William Wilson:
In order to develop alternative perspectives to globalization, Bill Wilson requires each student to select a country, read one of its daily newspapers, and research the impact of this phenomenon in terms of its political, economic, socio-cultural, and environmental dimensions. The result is participation in two "international" roundtable discussions culminating in a formal five page paper exploring the strengths and challenges their country faces in an era of rapid globalization.


Off the Grid (FS110)

Will Marquess
Will Marquess challenges students to make connections between the class readings and their life experiences.  Students do research on non-conformists of their own choosing, such as Rosa Parks or Heloise (of the Heloise and Abelard story in 12th-century France), prepare a 5-page essay, and make a short oral presentation relating their discoveries.


Peace & Justice (FS153)

Jennie Cernosia: Outlining the pivotal events in the Civil Rights Movement in 1963, Jennie Cernosia asked her students to use one of the events and write a short paper. In it they were asked to highlight how that particular event was explicitly or implicitly addressed in Martin Luther King, Junior’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” Students’ library session included Reference Universe, the library catalog, Historical Newspapers, and American History in Video. 


River Runs Through It (FS114)

Bill Grover
William F. Grover engages students with scholarly sources. During a scheduled research session students are introduced to periodical databases and learn how to search for and identify academic / scholarly journal articles.  Each student must locate one scholarly article discussing one of the semester readings, which include "A River Runs Through It," "The River Why," "A Jerk on One End," "Guiding Elliott," and "Big Two Hearted River."


Theatre & Social Justice (FS118)

Peter Harrigan
Peter Harrigan: The Laramie Project raises controversial issues related to homosexuality, hate crimes and legislation, religion, media (or social media) and small-town life. Peter Harrigan’s students participated in a library research session with an introduction to the library catalog, Reference Universe, and various article databases and websites in order to create an annotated bibliography on an issue of interest relating to the play. 

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