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University Libraries

Plan Your Project

By Katy Kelly

The fall season is officially here, which means research papers, speeches, presentations and performances are underway for the semester. Librarians collaborated with communication and creative coordinator Ann Zlotnik to develop a flowchart to help you plan your projects this semester. Services of Book a Librarian and the Write Place can assist with any project, at any stage of your process. Let’s take a look:

  1. Receive your assignment. Read it. Ask yourself: What is required? When is it due?
  2. How about sources? Ask yourself: What types? How many? Make a list.
  3. Brainstorm topic ideas. The Write Place can help! In fact, consultants say brainstorming with students at the beginning of a project is one of their favorite types of meetings.
  4. Pre-search your topic ideas. Ask yourself: What is important? People? Places? Events? Book a Librarian for help pre-searching and brainstorming approaches to your topic ideas.
  5. As you begin your search for sources, refer back to your list of the assignment source requirements. Book a Librarian can help you here as well in selecting the best library databases for the job. Librarians will assist with locating full texts, too, whether through OhioLINK or interlibrary loan. 
  6. Read your sources and take notes. Ask yourself: What will I cite? How will I cite? Librarians can help you organize your sources and keep track of important bibliographic information. We can provide an overview of citation management tools, too. 
  7. Time for writing! Prewrite and begin outlining your project before diving in to write. The peer consultants at the Write Place can help.
  8. Draft done? Review and revise. The Write Place can help here, too. Double-check your formatting and citations and verify that you’ve fulfilled the assignment requirements. As always, your professor and the syllabus are great guides for assignments and questions. 

Hopefully this flowchart helps you consider your projects in a new way. We’re here to be your co-pilot, Flyers!

Accessing services: Students

Are you a student looking for research help? Schedule a Zoom or phone appointment using Book a Librarian, or you can send us an email at Looking for writing help? Use the Write Place’s digital drop-off service on Isidore or request an appointment on the Student Success Network

Accessing services: Faculty and instructors

Are you a faculty member or instructor? The teaching librarians in the University Libraries are prepared to provide your students with essential research skills, whether your class meets in person, online or in a hybrid format. Multiple options are available, including classroom teaching, Zoom conferencing, a forum in Isidore, relevant electronic worksheets and online research guides. Please use this form to request library instruction.

— Katy Kelly is coordinator of marketing and engagement and associate professor and is a member of the instruction team.

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