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Peer Research Advising: Home

A page detailing the resources available to students through the Peer Research Advising program.


Here you'll find some resources to help get started on the fun and sometimes challenging journey of research. Your Peer Research Advisors are here to help you answer any and all questions related to research, source selection or source citation.We embrace a no-judgment policy in our little corner. There are no stupid questions! Stop by our desk in the Learning Commons or check out some online quick reference resources below.

Peer Research Advising Hours

Marcelle Rutherfurd '19
Lindsey Hunt '19
Peer Research Advisors
Office:  Collins Library, Library 118 (just off of the Learning Commons)

Drop-In Hours for Spring 2019

Sundays: 7-9pm
Mondays: 7-9pm
Tuesdays: 7-9pm
Wednesdays: 7-9pm

No appointment needed--just swing by!
Photograph of Marcelle Rutherfurd and Lindsey Hunt

Quick Research Tips

Having trouble starting your research? Check out these general resources:

  • Course Guides: Many SSI courses have research help pages built specifically for that course. If not, look through the general subject guides.
  • Online Subject Encyclopedias: Much more reliable than Wikipedia, these reference books can help you understand the basics of your topic, give you ideas about what to focus on, and further references as well.
  • If you're stuck and it's after normal Library hours, you can use the 24/7 librarian chat service to get a question answered quickly.

Peer Research Advisor Job Scope

As your Peer Research Advisors, we work with the Subject Liaison Librarians at Collins Library to help you find the best resources for your project, essay, report or thesis.

What we CAN help you with: What we CANNOT help you with:

  • Finding preliminary & more specialized resources for introductory courses, the Seminars in Scholarly Inquiry 1&2, as well as any other class.
  • Evaluating sources - is it primary? Secondary? Scholarly? How can I tell?
  • Citing sources and finding the right citation style (ex. APA, MLA, Chicago . . . something else?)
  • Improving your writing (head over to the CWLT if this is what you need)
  • Checking your paper for grammar and spelling errors (But we can help you find resources to do it yourself!)
  • Help with specialized or thesis research in upper-division classes (our Liaison Librarians are much more knowledgeable!)

Getting Started with Subject Encyclopedias

Subject encyclopedias, handbooks and overviews are scholarly, tertiary works written by experts on a variety of topics. The articles are typically longer and more detailed than those found in general encyclopedias. The background information provides a good starting point as you begin the research process. These resources can help you with:

  • Understanding the scope of a topic
  • Suggesting ideas for narrowing a topic
  • Identifying key concepts, terms, dates and names
  • Listing subject areas related to a topic
  • Recommending sources for further exploration

In Collins Library, the print reference collection is located on the first floor, and most of the online reference collection is available in one of the three databases listed below.  Use Puget Sound WorldCat to identify subject encyclopedias in either format; or ask a librarian for recommendations.

Want more help?

This guide is just an overview of the things we can help you with. Feel free to send us an email if you'd like more in-depth and personalized research help!

Lindsey Rachel Hunt

Hi! My name is Lindsey, and I'm one of the Peer Research Advisors for the 2017/18 academic year. This is my junior year at UPS! I also have Attention Deficit Disorder - so I'm no stranger to procrastination! If you're also a disabled student, and want tips and tricks on how to stay focused or find what you're looking for, I'm always happy to help. I can also assist neurotypical students, of course! If you just want to drop by and talk about Star Wars, I'm available for that too. My favorite books include (but are not limited to): David Mitchell's Black Swan Green, Steve Silberman's NeurotribesMarkus Zuzak's The Book Thief, and E. K. Johnston's Ahsoka

Marcelle Rutherfurd

I'm Marcelle and I'm a Peer Research Advisor for the 2017/18 academic year. I am a junior at UPS, and I play on the volleyball team. My favorite things to do are read and watch TV. My favorite book of all time is definitely Harry Potter, but right now some other favorites of mine are Dune by Frank Herbert and A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin. If you have any questions related to research or sources, come stop by our little corner in the learning commons! Of course, you can also stop by anytime to nerd out over a book because there's a 75% chance I've read it.