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Dianna Sachs

Instructional Services Librarian
(269) 387-5182

ResearchPath Tutorial


The idea of conducting and teaching “research” can be intimidating for students and instructors alike. The goals of the FYS Common Research Experience are to show our students all the ways in which they are already conducting research, and how to use the techniques that they already know, as well as some new ones, to successfully complete research projects at the University level.


Research pervades our everyday lives, not just academic work. We conduct research every time we compare movie theatre prices and show times, or consider the political positions of presidential candidates, or comb through want ads to find a roommate or a car. We are all familiar with these situations, and the techniques needed to find the answers we seek. Our students will learn to apply the skills and knowledge that they already possess to the world of academic information.


In order to be successful researchers, students must be able to:


  • Define a topic and determine the extent of information needed to address the topic
  • Access the needed information effectively and efficiently
  • Critically evaluate the appropriateness of information and information sources
  • Understand and make connections between various pieces of information
  • Use the information effectively to complete projects and communicate ideas
  • Access and use information ethically and legally


This guide contains techniques and resources to help you introduce your students to these objectives, and provide them with the foundations they will need to continue to grow as researchers throughout their time at WMU.


If you have any questions, please contact us. 

Instructional Services Librarian

Dianna Sachs's picture
Dianna Sachs
(269) 387-5182