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Undergraduate Research Mini-Courses

Interested in participating in the Undergraduate Research Mini-Courses? This guide provides details about each of the courses and how to enroll.

About these courses

W&M Libraries and the Writing Resources Center staff are offering sessions designed to provide research skills training for summer research students. You need to attend at least two courses. You can either attend a live session or watch a recording of the session. After each session, please complete the evaluation form.  You will have fulfilled the requirement when you have submitted two evaluation forms.

Each session will run approximately 45-60 minutes. Attendees of live sessions will have an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the talk. If you have questions after watching a recording, please email and we'll help you out!

To attend a session, use the link provided under the course description. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. 

Summer 2022 Course Schedule

Beginner Zotero
Tuesday, June 7, 1pm 

How do you organize the sources you find as you research? Random emails to yourself? Hand-written notes of titles you can never find again? What if we told you there was an easier way to both keep your sources found AND cite those sources later? This workshop will introduce you to Zotero from installation to creating citations in your Word documents.

Watch the recording 

Advanced Zotero
Tuesday, June 14, 3pm

If you've used Zotero in the past or if you've attended the Beginner Zotero session this summer, you are now ready for Advanced Zotero! This session will introduce you to group libraries, adding new citation styles to Zotero, and other features you can utilize to improve your usage of this citation manager.

Watch the recording

How Scholars and Researchers Measure Their Impact
Wednesday, June 22, 10am

When applying for grad school or a job, or for promotion or tenure, researchers and scholars must communicate how their work makes an impact on the field. We will discuss common metrics used to identify top journals and article impact, and the controversies related to these measurements.

Watch the recording

Research with Primary Sources
Tuesday, June 28, 2pm 

Many libraries, museums, and other institutions have physical and digitized primary sources in their collections. This workshop will discuss how to locate such repositories and use their collections purposefully and critically. Particular attention will be paid to primary sources available through W&M Libraries' Special Collections Research Center.

Watch the recording.

Tips for Presenting Your Undergraduate Research 
Thursday, June 30, 2pm

Learn about in-person and digital options for presenting your undergraduate research. You’ll discover the key features of each option and learn techniques to create a presentation that audiences will enjoy and remember.

Slides and guide

Watch the recording.

What is Open Data and How Can I Use It?
Thursday, July 7, 2pm

Using open data offers a wide range of datasets including health, scientific, economic, political and social topics from governments, researchers, and other institutions. In this workshop you’ll learn what open data is, who produces it, how to locate open datasets, and evaluate date with consideration for ethics and limitations.  

Register in advance for this meeting: 

Following a Citation Trail
Monday, July 11, 10am

Have you ever found the perfect article only to find it's 30 years old? You'd like something newer, but you can't seem to find it through your tried and true search methods? A citation trail is the solution! In this session, we will learn how to follow the citation trail forward and backward, as well as how to read a citation to determine what it is you're looking for.

Watch the recording.

Inclusive Citation Practices in Literature Reviews
Thursday, July 14, 2pm 

When writing a research paper, it can be easy to overlook the human side of scholarship – how being cited in a study (or not) can have real, material consequences, and how social structures can systematically exclude certain people from scholarship. This workshop will explore these ideas and give you strategies for making your literature review more inclusive.  

Watch the recording.

Slides and article for activity  

Further reading: Case StudyInclusive Citation: How Diverse Are Your References?Understanding the Extent of Gender Gap in Citations

Past Recorded Sessions

Structuring an Essay for Clear Ideas

Do you ever struggle with the best way to organize an essay? Or worry that the final paper just won't make sense? In this Writing Resources Center webinar, you will learn how to structure an essay in a way that attends to the reader's logic. After taking a close look at typical essay structures, you'll learn how to create an "essay map," and you'll explore strategies for guiding your reader through your work. Expect an interactive session designed to help you write with your reader in mind.


Watch the recording

Writing Stronger Paragraphs

Have you been wishing for a refresher course on writing fundamentals? Look no further! In this Writing Resources Center webinar, you will take close look at that most essential unit of academic thought: the paragraph. Together, we will consider how the paragraph functions as a form of punctuation, compare well-developed and poorly-developed examples, and discover several types of paragraphs that can add clarity and focus to your work. Join us for an interactive session designed to improve your focus and better engage your audience.

Watch the recording


Revising Essays: Editing and Proofreading

You've drafted your essay, and it's time to hand it in, right? Not so fast! Revising is an essential part of the writing process. In this Writing Resources Center webinar, you'll learn strategies to focus your revision on elements that will make the biggest difference in the quality of your paper. You'll also learn how to identify and correct common sentence-level errors. Join us for an interactive session that will provide tools to help you see your own work with fresh eyes.

Watch the recording


Clear and Memorable Presentations

Planning to present your research results? Join the Writing Resources Center for an interactive webinar to help you learn how to create a presentation that audiences will enjoy and remember. You'll discover the key features of a good presentation -- and you'll learn what pitfalls to avoid. We'll also consider strategies to manage performance anxiety.

Watch the recording


Constructing the Thesis and Argument

Have you ever wondered why the five-paragraph essay was taught in high school if that's not what you're supposed to do in college? In this Writing Resources Center webinar, you will build on your early training in essay writing by learning strategies for developing an organically-structured paper that contains an ambitious and debatable thesis, a compelling argument, and valid evidence for all key points. Expect an interactive session designed to energize your writing.

Watch the recording

Writing a Literature Review in the Sciences with Prof. Bev Sher (Chemistry)

A literature review in the sciences presents a critical synthesis of the research on a particular topic. In this webinar, you will learn how to develop your literature review into a focused discussion and interpretation of your source material. We'll consider several organizational strategies, and discuss common conventions of scientific writing.

Watch the recording

In addition, here is a link to a PDF of the slides. It contains useful links, so students may like to have access to it. 

Oral Histories: What Are They and How Do I Do One? with Andre Taylor (SCRC Oral Historian)

In this workshop, the University Libraries Oral Historian, Andre Taylor, you will cover the essential steps of conducting an oral history, including how to develop an oral history project, the legal issues you must consider in this work, learning about your subject prior to the interview, methods for recording, and what to do with your oral histories after the project. 

Watch the recording

HANDOUT: Conducting an Oral History

Information Consumer’s Toolkit: Considering Your Information More Holistically

Ready to become a more holistic and self-aware information consumer? In this session, you'll get a chance to talk with two librarians about their information consumption habits, aspirations, how they think about the world of information and research, and every individual's role in it. Plus, we promise we'll try to make you laugh.

Watch the recording