Use of Searchpath

This information has been provided for librarians, instructors, faculty and other educators interested in learning more about Searchpath. If you have contributions or suggestions about using Searchpath, please email us.

What is Searchpath?
Who Is It Designed For?
How Can Instructors Effectively Use Searchpath with their Courses?
Does Searchpath Replace Library Instruction?

What Is Searchpath?
Searchpath is a new resource for students and public library users. It is a self-instructional tutorial to teach them basic library and research skills. It covers the research process from initial topic selection to citation styles and the issue of plagiarism. There is a link to Searchpath on the Libraries' home page or it can be accessed directly from
Its content is organized into four modules:

1 - Starting smart an overview that introduces students to various types of sources.
2 - Finding information in which students can practice searching the library catalog and Periodical Abstracts database.
3 - Evaluating Information which includes the comparative evaluation of Web sources.
4 - Citing sources a module that also includes the topics of plagiarism and copyright.

Each of the four sections takes about 10-15 minutes to complete, and students can do this on their own time outside of class.

Who Is It Designed For?
Searchpath is designed for students in classes with a substantial writing component or introductory-level research, especially for English Composition. However, we hope instructors of other classes will find it useful and assign it to their students.

Does Searchpath Replace Library Instruction?
No! We continue to offer course-related library instruction and hope that you will incorporate it into your syllabus. Timing is important! Please schedule library instruction with us for a date after your class has received a research assignment, so students learn about searching databases at a time when they need to know this information. Also, we generally do not offer instruction sessions without an accompanying assignment. Research has shown that:

  • Students learn best and retain most when they need the information.
  • Library instruction is more effective when the course instructor is present.
  • Library instruction is more effective when coordinated with a class assignment.

Check with your local library about class instruction/tours of library resources.

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