Spark Your Research Screenshot

Spark Your Research Activity

Pair your students up to work through this interactive in-class tutorial that teaches the basics of the research process! This tutorial is intended for live/in-person instruction; an example lesson plan is included.

Screenshot of Choose a Topic Activity

Screenshot of Choose a Topic Activity

There are three versions of this tutorial (so far): Academic Search Premier, a “Universal” version that does not name a specific database, and a Chicano Studies version which points students to Academic Search Premier and Google Scholar. The first two versions offer the same two practice topic options:

  1. College students and stress
  2. Online fandoms

The Chicano Studies version asks students to use the topic Latino Immigration to the New South.

Academic Search Premier:


Chicano Studies (ASP + Google Scholar):

 Go to tutorial  Go to tutorial  Go to tutorial

 Download the Lesson Plan:

Download Word

Learning Objectives

Learners will be able to:

  • List the steps of the research process
  • Determine existing knowledge on a given topic
  • Practice differentiating between too wide and too narrow research questions
  • Recall that databases may be very literal and misspellings/poor search strategy may hinder a search
  • Produce a list of related concepts/keywords for a given search topic
  • Use concepts/keywords to construct a search string
  • Search a library database (e.g. Academic Search Premier)


Format: Tutorial (15-25 minutes); One-shot class (50-80 minutes)

Accessibility: Badly navigable by keyboard


Author: Lindsay O’Neill

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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