Skip to main content

CRLA II & III - Irvin, Lennie: Tutor Training

Tutoring for research

Searching as Strategic Exploration

Pre-session - freewrite questions:
  1. What is one thing you wish you knew about conducting research and/or the using the library?
  2. What do students (tutees) find particularly challenging when conducting research?

Discussion of freewrite.

Student questions we often hear:

  1. I don’t know where to begin.
    1. Should I go to the library first? 
    2. Search Google first?
  2. What are the best sources to use for my research project so that I am using my time well?
  3. How do I find the right words to plug into the search engine?
  4. How do I come up with my research question and then find the perfect article on my topic?
  5. How do I know that I have reliable sources?
  6. When I find reliable sources, how do I get past the prominent ones to find related ones?
  7. How long should I keep looking for information about my topic?
    1. How will I know when I have found the sources that will support my argument?
  8. Is it worthwhile to look through hard copies or printed books when so much is digital?

Purpose:  Students will understand that Searching is a Strategic Exploration


The purpose of this activity is to help you practice the following skills essential to your success in school and beyond. 

In this activity you will:

S.1. Understand how search tools are organized

S.2. Brainstorm keywords and select sources

S.3. Match information needs to a search tool

S.4. Design and refine a search strategy


This activity will also help you become familiar with the following important content knowledge: 

K.1. First attempts don't always produce good results

K.2. Information sources vary greatly in content and format

K.3. Recognize the value of browsing in gathering information

Loading ...

Search Examples from Tools

Tool: Library Discovery

Try an all-in-one search for topics to get articles, books, and more. Use quotation marks "for phrases" and the * to pick up alternate endings in your search string.

Library Discovery - internet addiction - search example

Off-campus access

Library databases require a login from off-campus!

  • ACES username is required for login
  • ACES password is your password for login

What does the login page look like?


San Antonio College Library, 1819 Main Ave., San Antonio, TX 78212
Located in the Moody Learning Center (MLC) building, floors 2 - 5
Reference Desk: (210) 486-0554 * Send Email
Library interior & exterior photos by: Leonard Ziegler, SAC photographer

Copyright © 2015 San Antonio College