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LI 371/ LI 372: INDEPENDENT STUDY – 1 credit

ƒ Course Description:
Preparation for a senior thesis, capstone, or honors project that requires a serious research component.
Students will work one-on-one with a Subject Specialist in the Library to prepare the groundwork for an
intensive academic project within their major. Students will be instructed in the organization of information
and in sophisticated search strategies for finding, evaluating, and using information. A critical annotated
bibliography is required, as well as a strategy for acquiring materials needed for the final project. Students
must obtain approval from their academic advisor. Permission of the instructor required. Library Faculty

ƒ Course Outline:
A. Topic Formulation – get organized
i. What do you know, what do you want or need to know about the topic?
ii. Scan databases/journals
iii. Keep a research journal/log: should include your database/search engine search
queries, printed results lists, and notes/comments on the research process (see
Research Log)

B. Develop Thesis Question – get focused


i. Subject headings
ii. Research terms

C. Meet with project advisor to:


i. Review topic/thesis question
ii. Determine bibliographic citation style (MLA, APA, or Chicago, etc)

D. Literature Review
i. Authors, seminal
ii. Citation indexing

E. Gather Information
i. Print
ii. Electronic
iii. ILL
iv. Identify potential primary resources –Archives/Museums/Other libraries
v. Explore/Apply for Student Opportunity Funds
http://cms.skidmore.edu/dean_of_studies/funds/index.cfm

F. Prepare Outline
i. Appropriate sources to support paper
ii. What’s missing?
G. Draft the Annotated Bibliography
(How to write an annotated bibliography:
http://www.skidmore.edu/library/help/annotatedbibliography.htm)
i. Appropriate organization
ii. Citation format - RefWorks
iii. Critical annotations – evaluate sources
iv. Variety of resources
v. Substantial number of sources (usually a minimum of 25 citations)
vi. Sophisticated, scholarly sources

H. Meet with project advisor- Review Annotated Bibliography

I. Complete the Annotated Bibliography : Due Thanksgiving


i. Review quality
ii. Meet ethical information standards

ƒ Grading:
Grade based on:
ƒ Annotated Bibliography = 50%
ƒ Meeting Attendance/Participation = 20%
ƒ Research Journal = 20%
ƒ Outline = 10%

Students are expected to meet their obligations for the course in a timely and courteous
manner. Adherence to the Skidmore Honor code is required for satisfactory completion of the
course. See "Ethics of Scholarship"

Grades will be given according to the following standard:

Grade Range Grade Range


A+ 97-100 C+ 77-79
A 93-96 C 73-76
A- 90-92 C- 70-72
B+ 87-89 D+ 67-69
B 83-86 D 65-66
B- 80-82 F 0-64

• Time Frame:
ƒ Meet a minimum of six or seven times during the semester.
ƒ Annotated Bibliography is due by Thanksgiving unless another date is approved.
ƒ Within 3 weeks of initial session student should be prepared to submit a draft of three
annotated sources.
ƒ The research journal will be submitted for review on a periodic basis, preferably every
two weeks.

Revised 9.08