Research like a Librarian with Vikki J. Carter

Craft Research like a Librarian with Vikki J. Carter

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Characters, Description/Setting, Editing, Dialogue, Structure, Genre, GMC, Plotting, Voice, Worldbuilding, Writer's Life
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Most authors feel that they are competent in literature but how comfortable are you with your research skills?

In this online course, Vikki J. Carter will encourage students to explore skills for successful research techniques for their books. All skills are based on researching tips and techniques of a librarian.

Topics will include the who, whats, and whys of information literacy & why it matters for authors; exploring best techniques using free search engines like Google & Wikipedia; beyond Google & Wikipedia. Students will focus on research older homes to help with setting & time; accessing newspapers from home; exploring techniques to access content on free databases. During the entirety of the course, students will be creating research notes with demonstrations of several useful tools (research portfolio building & pathfinders;) non-fiction research (historical & how to topics); using your local library (the how to befriend your local librarian for further help.)
Week 01: Information Literacy, Say What? Why not just Google?

Most authors feel that they are competent in literature but how comfortable are you with your research skills?
This week we will explore (in short version) the theory of information literacy, why it should matter to you as an author, and how you can quickly become significant researcher by remembering just a few things while you analyze resources. We will promptly define resources and their formats. By the end of the session, with handouts, the authors/students will have a knowledge grasp to answer the question, why not just Google?

Vikki will also introduce the handout for keeping resources in one place to start students with their resource portfolio.

The assignment for this week will be Portfolio Starter Exercises

Week 02: Now we can Google & use Wikipedia, the smart way!

This week, we will go beyond the idea of information literacy and apply techniques and tricks used by Librarians when using Google & Wikipedia. We will also explore several other reliable search engines and technologies, as well as pathfinders.

We will work on application, authors/students should prepare for having their computer out to follow along.

We will review the resource that each authors/students have decided on to create their resource portfolio.

The assignments for this week are Google & Wikipedia Smart Search Exercise.

Week 03: Setting Research

Vikki will show the authors/students some fun techniques and resources to start the creative juices regarding settings. She will focus on researching older homes for a setting.

The final project for this week (and assignment) will be applying the Home History Research Exercise.

Week 04: Newspapers, do they still exist! Yes.

Vikki will cover two aspects in this session. The first, accessing local newspapers from the author’s/student’s local library for research (including a discussion on micro storage systems.) Second, Vikki will introduce the authors/students to an online database to search newspapers around the world.

The final assignment will be tied into using the world newspaper database and will be Newspaper Search Exercises.

Week 05: Databases, databases, database!

Vikki will showcase several free online databases that can be useful for any author/student while providing tips for searching each database.

She will touch on keyword search techniques all Librarians use.

The final assignment for this week will be Database Exercises.

Week 06: Researching for Non-fiction, yes you can (and should!)

Vikki will touch on the key reasons why non-fiction authors/students should spend time researching their topic before investing time and energy writing about it. She will show several useful tools for non-fiction writing regarding topic selection.

The final assignment for this course will be Reflective Exercise & Portfolio last update.
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