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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 should attend one live session and one recorded session (from either this year or previous years). After each session, please complete the evaluation form.  You will have fulfilled the requirement when you have submitted two evaluation forms for both a live and recorded session.

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 sweref@wm.edu and we'll help you out!

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

Summer 2024 Course Schedule

Beginner Zotero

June 5th, 10:30am

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.

Zotero.org

Guide: https://guides.libraries.wm.edu/zotero

Register Here: https://cwm.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIkfuyprTIqHN3Y67WOSHxJc-Pf8rLQra-4


Tips for Presenting Your Undergraduate Research 

June 10th, 1:00pm

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.

Guide and Slides

Recording link


NEW: Communicating with Visuals

June 11th, 2:00pm

Participants in this workshop will learn simple, effective approaches for communicating ideas using graphs and other data visualizations.

View the slides.

Watch the recording.


Inclusive Citation Practices in Literature Reviews

June 13th, 11:00am

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.

Register Herehttps://cwm.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwudO6trz4pH9PcaPyBlQPuVkTuuYhaqCDH  

In-class materials: Case study | Article for activity

Further reading: | Inclusive Citation: How Diverse Are Your References? | Understanding the Extent of Gender Gap in Citations | ChatGPT Prompt


NEW: Using AI to Assist with Literature Reviews

June 17th, 2:00pm

Writing a literature review can feel like a daunting task, particularly at the beginning when you are not sure where to begin. This workshop will explore how you can use an AI tool, like ChatGPT, to assist you with conducting research for your literature review and identifying relevant themes to help organize them.  

Register to attend at: https://go.wm.edu/tfkJ17


NEW: Exploring AI Prompt Engineering

June 26th, 11:00am

This workshop will equip you with the fundamental skills of prompt engineering, the art of crafting instructions to get the most out of Large Language Models (LLMs). We will explore key elements of an effective prompt, including clarity, providing context, and setting boundaries for the AI's response.

Register to attend: https://go.wm.edu/bk3DjG


Tips for Creating a Research Poster

June 27th, 1:00pm

What are the important components to include on your research poster? What design principles should you keep in mind to make sure your content is accessible and interesting to your audience? These questions and many more will be addressed in our session on creating a research poster for the Fall Undergraduate Research Symposium. NOTE: The first twenty people who sign up for the live Zoom session and attend the whole presentation will receive FREE poster printing from the library for the Fall Symposium! 

Register


Digital Presentation Tips

July 2nd, 3:00pm

How do you tell the story of your research in five minutes with five slides? Join our session on creating a digital presentation for the Fall Undergraduate Research Symposium to learn how to develop a short, dynamic presentation that engages an interdisciplinary audience. 

Register


Interdisciplinary Research with Primary Sources

July 11, 1:00pm

All research builds upon the examination of primary sources, yet the definition of “primary sources” varies across disciplines. For historians, primary sources are archival documents; for psychologists they are observation results; for archeologists they are physical materials.  Such differences in terminology and methodology can make interdisciplinary work difficult, as each field has unique views upon primary sources.

This workshop provides an overview of how different fields within the Humanities and Social Sciences define and utilize primary sources, followed by a discussion of how embracing these disciplinary differences can improve interdisciplinary research projects.

Register

 

Past Recorded Sessions

Advanced Zotero

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


Research with Historical Primary Sources

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.

View the recording.


Following a Citation Trail

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

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.  

View 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


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.

Slides

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

Slides


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

Slides


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

Slides


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. 


Research Productivity Toolkit 

Finding and evaluating research is just one step in the research process; managing it effectively and productively is another. How do you organize your research, take notes, annotate articles, manage data, and produce your research projects? What’s in your research toolkit and what is your workflow? What tools and processes do you find useful? Join us for some tips on useful tools and techniques for note taking, managing your research, and more, and discuss your own tips and tools!

Watch the recording

In addition, here is a link to the slides of this presentation.