handouts icon.png

Getting Started
Having trouble getting your research rolling? These handouts and worksheets can get you past that initial hurdle.

Topic Identification worksheet (pdf)
This graphic organizer will help you understand your assignment, identify and focus your topic, create a search strategy and find sources in 6 easy steps!
For more information about research topics, visit www.codlrc.org/research101/topics

Developing Your Research Question (pdf)
Use journalistic questions (Who, What, When, Why, Where & How) to brainstorm researchable questions and jumpstart the research process.

Finding Evidence worksheet (pdf)
Before you start your research, consider what evidence you’ll need to support your claims and think about how to find it.

Need help finding your sources? These handouts can help you find books, articles, videos and more.

Subject vs. Keyword Searching (pdf)
Learn how to use keyword searching and subject searching together to find what you're looking for in the Library catalog and article databases.

Boolean Logic, Truncation, and Nesting (pdf)
An introduction to advanced search techniques you can use to help you find information efficiently and effectively.

Advanced Research Search Strategies and Techniques (pdf)
A quick reference for the types of advanced searching techniques you can use in databases, the Library catalog and in search engines.

Evaluating Sources
Not sure if you found a quality source? Take a look at these handouts for tips and more help.

Tips for Evaluating Information (pdf)
Whether a resource is print or electronic, text-based or image-based, researchers must carefully evaluate the quality of the source and the information found within. When evaluating the quality of resources, here are some things to consider.

CRAP Test (pdf)
Do your sources pass the CRAP Test? Use this guide to help you consider whether a source is appropriate for your research needs.

CRAAP Test (pdf)
Evaluate your sources according to five criteria - Currency, Relevance, Accuracy, Authority, and Purpose.

Source Evaluation Worksheet (pdf)
Use this form to help you determine if a source is appropriate for your research.
For more information about evaluating sources, visit www.codlrc.org/evaluating/sources

General Research
How to Read a Research Study Article (pdf)
Three steps to getting your head around research study articles.

Introduction to College Research (pdf)
Understand the research process and learn what to do and where to get help along the way.

Introduction to College Research Presentation
A PDF version of the Library instruction session.



book icon.png
Do you know what your personal learning style is? Understanding your strengths can help you adapt your approach to thinking, reading, studying, listening and taking notes.

  1. Websites
  2. Online Videos
  3. Books

Critical Thinking

Becoming a Critical Thinker by Vincent Ryan Ruggiero
BF455.R829 2015
Success depends on the ability to think critically. Training and practice turn this ability into a powerful skill.

Critical Thinking Skills: Developing Effective Analysis and Argument by Stella Cottrell
BF441 .C68 2011
Ideal for students who are mystified by lecturer comments such as 'more analysis needed', this title takes the art of analysis and breaks it down into easy-to-understand blocks, with clear explanations, good examples, and plenty of activities to develop understanding at each stage.

Ownership: Critical Thinking by Megan Stone
LB2395.35 .S76 2014
The Ownership series teaches Students ownership of concepts, so they are more likely to take responsibility for their successes and failures and “own” their learning.

30 Days to Better Thinking and Living Through Critical Thinking: A Guide for Improving Every Aspect of Your Life by Linda Elder and Richard Paul
BF441 .E4 2013
This book is for anyone interested in improving the quality of their lives by improving the quality of their thinking.


Improve Your Reading by Ron Fry
LB1050.455 .F79 2012
This book presents a practical way to increase what you learn from texts, notes, and additional resources. The core belief is that it doesn't matter how much or how fast you read but how much you understand and remember what you are reading.

Ten Steps to Improving College Reading Skills by John Langan
LB2395.3 .L36 2008
Carefully explains and illustrates ten key reading skills that are widely recognized to be essential for literal and critical comprehension. Provides activities and reading selections to help you practice and master those skills

Study Skills

Study Skills: Do I Really Need This Stuff? by Steve Piscitelli
LB2395 .P59 2013
Immediately has the student address an age-old question, “Why do I have to take this course?” through assessment of strengths and weaknesses and critically applying what is relevant to their situation.

Ownership: Study Strategies by Megan Stone
LB2395 .S763 2014
The Ownership series teaches Students ownership of concepts, so they are more likely to take responsibility for their successes and failures and “own” their learning.

How to Study by Ron Fry
LB1049 .F74 2012
Provides information on how to create an effective work environment, stand out in class, use the library, conduct research online, and much more.

Listening and Taking Notes

Lecture Ready 3: Strategies for Academic Listening and Speaking by Laurie Frazier and Shalle Leeming
Lecture Ready 3 prepares students for listening, note taking, and academic discussion through videos of realistic and engaging lectures. Explicit presentation skills prepare students for public speaking, a requirement in today's academic and professional world.

Note-Taking Made Easy by Judi Kesselman-Turkel and Franklynn Peterson
LB2395.25 .K47 2003
The authors describe the two most successful methods of organizing notes—outlining and patterning—and provide shortcuts to really make note-taking easy, from shorthand devices to abbreviations.

Get Organized by Ron Fry
E-book - you will need your library card to access this e-book from off campus.
This book shows you how to create your ideal study environment by using simple time-management tips to develop to-do lists, daily schedules, monthly calendars, and project boards.

Online Learning

Power Up: A Practical Student's Guide to Online Learning by Stacey Barrett, Catrina Poe and Carrie Spagnola-Doyle
LB1028.5 .B357 2012
The majority of online students do not persist in their programs. As an online student, you are embarking on an investment in yourself. This book is designed to give you practical tips and information to help you achieve your goals in the online environment efficiently and effectively.

How to Master Online Learning
LC5803.C65 H69 2010
Guides readers in choosing an online learning program, provides advice on paying for classes, software, and textbooks, and discusses common mistakes made by online learners

lynda.com_.jpgLynda.com video courses are made up of a series of instructional videos - you can watch all the videos in the course, or pick and choose topics that fit your needs.

COD students, faculty and staff have free access to Lynda.com - simply register using your @dupage.edu or @cod.edu email address and you will have access to Lynda's vast online library of instructional videos covering a variety of topics such as software training, business and creative skills, and study skills.

For more information about Lynda.com, visit http://www.codlrc.org/lynda

Study Skills Fundamentals Duration: 1h 36m
Whether you want to ace your next test or simply retain information better (at work or at home), good study habits are essential. Paul Nowak offers tips for improving your reading speed and comprehension, creating detailed notes, committing the learning to memory, and even taking tests. The information in this course is appropriate for all levels of learners, from grade school and grad students to full-time members of the workforce. Start watching now—you'll never approach studying the same way again.
Topics include:

  • Learning to read faster and more thoroughly
  • Improving your note-taking skills
  • Enhancing your memory
  • Memorizing new words and formulas
  • Scoring better on tests
  • Creating study plans

Speed Reading Fundamentals Course duration: 58m
Learn how to improve your reading speed and comprehension. Speed-reading is a skill everyone can benefit from, and this course provides proven techniques to improve how much information you absorb and how fast you absorb it. Paul Nowak, the founder of Iris Reading, first asks you to measure your current reading rate, and explores the reading habits that slow people down. Then he introduces simple techniques for boosting your reading speed and practice drills to reinforce your new skill.

The course then focuses on improving comprehension by understanding how memory works, practicing the "read and recall" method, and breaking down technical terms. The final chapter introduces some advanced tips and strategies for reading different types of media: news and magazine articles, textbooks, technical material, and ebooks.
Topics include:

  • Measuring your reading speed
  • Reading faster on the computer
  • Reading groups of words
  • Previewing and overviewing
  • Improving comprehension and retention
  • Understanding the 80/20 principle of reading
  • Reading magazines, textbooks, diagrams, and ebooks

Improving Your Memory Course duration:1h 29m
Memory is not a finite resource, and with techniques like repetition, association, and visualization, you can improve your memory before it starts to fade. This fascinating course shows viewers of all ages how to improve their recall. It explains how and when to employ tricks such as mnemonic devices, rhymes, stories, and alliteration. And it explains the best methods for different situations, like remembering names, important dates, passwords, to-do lists, quotes, and more. These techniques will prove invaluable, whether you're memorizing facts for a test at school, points for a work presentation, or trivia to impress your friends.
Topics include:

  • Memory principles that work
  • Taking notes
  • Using songs and rhyming techniques to remember details
  • Building a "memory palace"
  • Remembering names and passwords
  • Memorizing long texts and speeches

Learning Styles

Learning Strategies Inventories: Assess How You Learn
An tool from Dartmouth College providing a variety of suggestions and resources for maximizing your academic experience. View an on-line video, read about helpful strategies, or download a handout. You can either search for resources by category or by format.

Index of Learning Styles Questionnaire
This online survey assesses your study habits and provides an immediate assessment of your learning style

Note Taking

Note Taking Systems
Information about five different systems will help you find the note taking method that works best for you.

Write This Down: Note-Taking Strategies for Academic Success
A humorous but informative introduction to note taking strategies for all students from the Art of Manliness blog.


Managing College

managing icon.pngResources to help you navigate the college experience, manage time and deal with the stress and anxiety that accompanies busy students' lives.

  1. Websites
  2. Online Videos
  3. Books

The College Experience

College Knowledge for the Community College Student by David Schoem and Lynn Dunlap
LB2343.32 .S34 2011
A road map and tour guide for a successful community college experience and education.

The Community College Experience by Amy Baldwin
LB2343.32 .B24 2013
Covers a range of topics from making the transition into college culture, to practicing active learning and study skills, and preparing for a degree and a career.

The Freshman Survival Guide : Soulful Advice for Studying, Socializing, and Everything in Between by Nora Bradbury-Haehl and Bill McGarvey
LB2343.32 .F74 2011
Tools and accumulated wisdom of hundreds of students, administrators, professors, counselors, and campus ministers to help you take advantage of the options in front of you and make good decisions in the years ahead

College Rules! : How to Study, Survive, and Succeed in College by Sherrie Nist-Olenjnik and Jodi Patrick Holschuh
LB2343.32 .N57 2011
A college survival primer by two college professors shares essential advice and strategies on topics ranging from stress management and test preparation to staying motivated and balancing academics with a social life

Managing Time

Get Organized by Ron Fry
LB1049 .F735 2012
Shows you how to create your ideal study environment by using simple time-management tips to develop to-do lists, daily schedules, monthly calendars, and project boards.

The Time Diet : time management for college survival
by Emily Schwartz
LB2395.4 S35 2012
The Time Diet helps students lead productive, stress-free college lives by helping them classify their activities into "food groups" and choose a "balanced diet" of tasks each day.

Attack Your Day! : Before it Attacks You by Mark Woods and Trapper Woods
HD69.T54 W672 2013
Learn five crucial "activity management" skills and 101 productivity strategies can help you achieve unprecedented levels of effectiveness, as you move relentlessly towards achieving your most important goals in life.

Managing Stress & Anxiety

What to do when college is not the best time of your life by David Leibow
Focuses on issues common to college settings-anxiety and depression, drug and alcohol abuse, laziness and work avoidance, body-image problems, and unhealthy relationships-- detailing coping strategies and professional resources that best respond to each crisis.
RC451.4.S7 L45 2010

College of the Overwhelmed: The Campus Mental Health Crisis and What to Do About It by Richard Kadison, Theresa Foy DiGeronimo
RC451.4.S7 K336 2004
Written for parents, students, college counselors, and administrators, College of the Overwhelmed is a landmark book that explores the stressors that cause so many college students to suffer psychological problems

lynda.com_.jpgLynda.com video courses are made up of a series of instructional videos - you can watch all the videos in the course, or pick and choose topics that fit your needs.

COD students, faculty and staff have free access to Lynda.com - simply register using your @dupage.edu or @cod.edu email address and you will have access to Lynda's vast online library of instructional videos covering a variety of topics such as software training, business and creative skills, and study skills.

For more information about Lynda.com, visit http://www.codlrc.org/lynda

Time Management Fundamentals Course duration: 2h 51m
Effective time management is an indispensable skill. Best-selling author and business coach Dave Crenshaw lays the theoretical and practical foundations for managing your time and becoming more productive.Learn how to get more done in the shortest time possible and avoid the obstacles and distractions that can get in the way of good time management. Dave gives practical strategies for increasing productivity in three main areas: developing habits to be more organized and reducing clutter in your workspace; staying mentally on task and eliminate the to-dos you have floating in your head; and developing a time budget to get the most done during your workday and focus on your most valuable activities.
Topics include:

  • Finding your productivity style and motivation
  • Understanding the principles of time management
  • Avoiding the pitfalls of multitasking
  • Narrowing your gathering points
  • Practicing mind-clearing techniques
  • Choosing and using calendar software
  • Saying no with tact
  • Mastering the what, when, where processing system

Managing Time

College Survival Tips: Time Management for Beginners
Many of us don't realize how important time management is. In this video, you will learn ways that will enable you take full advantage of your time.

Transitioning to College - Managing Your Time
In college, there's a lot of freedom. And with so many activities and groups to join, it's important to prioritize and put academics first. Learn how to manage your time by using a planner or scheduling tool -- whether it's on your phone, tablet or an old-school spiral bound planner -- it's important to stay on track, and on time.

Study Guide: Time Management
This 3-minute video from UIPUI shares tips and tricks from students on how to manage time and things done!

Managing Time

Time Management - Stanford University
Time Management Matrix – BYU Idaho

Managing Stress and Anxiety

Study Habits and Test Anxiety - SUNY at Buffalo
Five Finger Relaxation Technique – Emporia State University


Academic Success

academic icon.pngCollege success requires more than just showing up. Learn the strategies that will help you succeed with resources full of tips on academic writing, doing college-level research, taking tests, participating in your classes and more.

  1. Books
  2. Online Videos
  3. Websites

Success Strategies

What the Best College Students Do by Ken Bain
LA229 .B24 2012
Doable and inspiring help for students who want to get the most out of college—and every other educational enterprise, too.

Ownership: Accountability by Megan Stone
LB2395 .S758 2014
The Ownership series teaches Students ownership of concepts, so they are more likely to take responsibility for their successes and failures and “own” their learning.

Ownership: Effective Planning by Megan Stone
LB2395.4 .S76 2014
The Ownership series teaches Students ownership of concepts, so they are more likely to take responsibility for their successes and failures and “own” their learning.

100% Student Success by Amy Solomon
LB2343.3 .S664 2012
A comprehensive resource for student academic success.

Choosing Success in Community College and Beyond by Rhonda Atkinson and Debbie Longman
LB2343.32 .A77 2012
By incorporating a decision-making focus into every chapter, Choosing Success in Community College and Beyond emphasizes accountability and conveys to students how important they are in their own success.

Academic Writing

Write it Right: The Secrets of Effective Writing
PE1408 .P423 2012
Covers everyday tasks and academic writing, offering user-friendly advice on how students can make the most of simple, practical methods for tackling essays and longer pieces of work.

How to Write Better Essays
PE1429 .G74 2013
How to: analyze essay questions and break down difficult terms and concepts; brainstorm effectively; evaluate and criticize arguments; express thoughts coherently and develop a personal style of writing; and plan and structure essays from introduction to conclusion.

Improve Your Writing by Ron Fry
LB1047.3 .F796 2012
From selecting a topic and conducting research to developing an outline, writing drafts, proofreading, and more,Improve Your Writing takes you step-by-step through the creation of a successful research paper.

Macmillan Writing Series by Dorothy E. Zamach
The Macmillan Writing Series provides students who have little experience of academic writing with the fundamental tools required including: brainstorming ideas, arranging ideas, writing short and long texts, and sharing the finished product with classmates.
Writing Sentences : The Basics of Writing
PE1408 .Z465 2011
Writing Paragraphs : From Sentence to Paragraph
PE1408 .Z463 2011
Writing Essays : From Paragraph to Essay
PE1408 .Z462 2011
Writing Research Papers : From Essay to Research Paper
PE1406 .Z464 2011


The Curious Researcher: A Guide to Writing Research Papers by Bruce Ballenger
Reference LB2369 .B246 2012
Offering a wide variety of examples from student and professional writers, this popular guide shows that good research and lively writing do not have to be mutually exclusive. Students are encouraged to find ways to bring their writing to life, even though they are writing with “facts.”

Bookmarks: A Guide to Research and Writing by John Ruszkiewicz, Janice R. Walker, and Michael A. Pemberton
LB2369 .R88 2006
Offers concrete strategies and models to help students select a topic, refine it, and develop it into a full-fledged research hypothesis; find and position sources; use sources in appropriate and responsible ways to further their projects; and document and complete their final projects for print or electronic publication.

Writing Research Papers

McGraw-Hill's Concise Guide to Writing Research Papers by Carol Ellison
LB2369 .E35 2010
The words “research paper” may send a chill down your spine. You're thinking about the hours of research and the days of writing ahead-and that's after wringing your hands about the topic! Never fear, this concise resource will guide you through the process step-by-step and make the experience painless.


14 Days to Exam Success
LB3051 .B37 2010
A practical guide to effective revision and success in exams, taking the reader through a fourteen-day programme which ensures maximum results in the time available.

Ace Any Test by Ron Fry
LB3060.57 .F79 2012
Ace Any Test offers proven step-by-step strategies you can use in any testing situation, from classroom quizzes to standardized exams.

The Anxious Test-Taker's Guide to Cracking Any Test / by the Staff of The Princeton Review
LB3060.57 .A59 2009
Presenting specific test-taking tips that students can apply to any test--from high school through college--"The Anxious Test-Taker's Guide to Cracking Any Test" provides the philosophy and science behind studying for and taking tests.

lynda.com_.jpgLynda.com video courses are made up of a series of instructional videos - you can watch all the videos in the course, or pick and choose topics that fit your needs.

COD students, faculty and staff have free access to Lynda.com - simply register using your @dupage.edu or @cod.edu email address and you will have access to Lynda's vast online library of instructional videos covering a variety of topics such as software training, business and creative skills, and study skills.

For more information about Lynda.com, visit http://www.codlrc.org/lynda

College Prep: Writing a Strong Essay Course duration: 1h 54m
Given today's competitive college admissions process, a strong essay is critical. It can be the difference between acceptance and rejection. In this course, writing instructor Leigh Ann Chow covers planning, drafting, editing, and polishing an unforgettable college essay. She explains how the essay is used in determining acceptance and reviews good and bad essay examples. These lessons will not only help improve your chances of getting into a top-choice school, but also make you a better writer once you get there.
Topics include:

  • Understanding the essay purpose and audience
  • Reviewing common and unusual essay prompts
  • Starting with a strong opening statement
  • Showing, not telling
  • Adhering to word limits
  • Organizing the essay
  • Varying sentence structure
  • Revising the essay
  • Communicating sincerity and enthusiasm

Writing Research Papers Course duration: 1h 56m
Have to write a research paper? Learn tips for writing an A+ paper that will wow your professors. In this course, author and Kelley School of Business faculty member Judy Steiner-Williams shows you how to prepare for, and write, polished research papers for high school and college classes. Discover how to brainstorm, select your best ideas, collect and categorize research, and write the paper, while following along with Judy's practical, real-world examples.
Topics include:

  • Understanding the different types of research papers
  • Researching the topic
  • Brainstorming your focus
  • Developing a thesis statement
  • Writing topic sentences
  • Composing a title
  • Using a style guide
  • Formatting your paper

Academic Writing and Research

General Writing Resources- Purdue University's OWL
These OWL resources will help you with the writing process: pre-writing (invention), developing research questions and outlines, composing thesis statements, and proofreading. While the writing process may be different for each person and for each particular assignment, the resources contained in this section follow the general work flow of pre-writing, organizing, and revising. For resources and examples on specific types of writing assignments, please go to our Common Writing Assignments area.

Research and Citation Sources- Purdue University's OWL
These OWL resources will help you conduct research using primary source methods, such as interviews and observations, and secondary source methods, such as books, journals, and the Internet. This area also includes materials on evaluating research sources.

Test Taking

Ace Your Exams: Study Tactics of the Successful Gentleman Scholar
A humorous but informative guide to studying from the Art of Manliness blog.

Class Participation

Class Participation: Making Contributions that Count
Participating in class doesn’t come easily to everyone. Some students feel comfortable speaking up in class, asserting their ideas and opinions, and taking center stage. Other students find it harder to hold the floor. But if the aim of class discussion is to learn from others and allow them to learn from you, lots of contributions count, including questioning, listening, and responding.

Class Participation: More than Just Raising Your Hand[PDF]
College courses are meant to advance knowledge. Learning on the college level requires that you connect yourself with information and materials and actively participate in class. This tutorial will help you evaluate your own participation and will provide you with tips on how to participate more.


College Success Skills

home icon.pngThe Library has so many tools and resources to help you succeed at COD. Our goal is to make sure you have access to the information you need for free!

Here are just some of the things we have to offer you:

Library Workshops and Webinars
All Library Workshops and Webinars are free, non-credit, and open to everyone. The purpose of these sessions is to encourage and teach all members of the College of DuPage community to master the skills necessary to conduct research, explore resources and become independent lifelong learners.

How to Avoid Plagiarism
Plagiarism is often unintentional because students are not aware of all the ways they can accidentally plagiarize.
This tutorial is designed to educate you about plagiarism and provide you with important skills and knowledge to avoid committing plagiarism.

Research 101
Want to learn more about research? Check out our tutorial to get started.

Assignment Calculator
Need help with time management? Try our Assignment Calculator.

Career & College Information
A thorough guide to finding colleges, choosing your major and career focus, and then getting that perfect job.

Citing Sources
Ready to start citing your sources but you've never work with APA or MLA? Then review our citation examples for help.

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