Help Me Find Video Resources for Undergrad Student Research, Writing, and Life

Dear teacherly friends and students of all descriptions, I am trying to create a resource bank of video tutorials and talks (and the odd short reading) to supplement the in-class student experience. Part of this is practical: I have a very specific destination in mind. But I have also learned a lot in the sudden COVID-era move to remote emergency education. As someone who has taught online for 15 years, I was surprised how different it was to teach in a setting for which the class was not designed. This last 13 months of teaching has revealed to me some gaps in student experience and learning I never saw before, and some places where I can improve as a teacher.

Would you be willing to share your great discoveries with me? I am particularly interested in certain areas of the student experience:

  • The basics of researching and writing
  • Aspects of inquiry and curiosity that we don’t often think about
  • Improving reading, writing, research, and discovery skills
  • More advanced tools for research, writing, and discovery
  • Tips for designing the student experience and navigating university
  • Resources for professional student success, like organization, communication, and the like
  • Resources for personal student success, like navigating university with a learning disability, struggling with mental illness, asking for help, and building resources of courage, imagination, and perseverance

Granted, my focus is generally liberal arts and humanities–though I think some of these tools would be helpful to most undergrads, even in specialized and STEM programs. Writing, research, inquiry, leadership, group work, the dynamics of success and failure, designing the student experience, building a portfolio, strengthening personal resources, choosing the right risks to take–these are skills that all undergraduate and college students need or else their diploma is a next-step ticket of overly-limited value.

So, will you help? Do you have a resource that you have found helpful? Is there a TedTalk or mini-lecture you love? Have you made a resource I should consider? Can you share this with a student success guru who can set me right? My own list is far too small and I need your help.

Here is an example of a helpful, not terribly professional video that helps students avoid clear mistakes in writing essays. And it has a battle axe.

And I have done some helpful tutorials, but they aren’t terribly fun or snappy. This one on the “Anatomy of a Paper” is basic and good and useful for beginners:

And my “Art of the Paragraph” tutorial is okay, but could be better:

I have another one below on “How to Use Wikipedia Well in Paper Writing” and “Quotation, Paraphrase, Allusion,” but I will gratuitously share my “Shaping the First Paragraph Tutorial” because it deals with my work with Charlie Starr on “The Archangel Fragment” in Sehnsucht Journal (2019):

All fine, but just fine. But I won’t more and better resources. Here are some examples of things I’d like to include:

  • How to make a great research question
  • How to do great peer feedback
  • How to improve from your teacher’s feedback
  • How to Organize Research
  • Time Organization
  • How to Get Started on a Paper
  • Writing a More Captivating Sentence
  • Making the best Hook & Conclusion for your work
  • How to Generate a Thesis
  • Simple Ways to Elevate your Writing
  • Beautiful, Evocative Openings to Paper
  • Things to Avoid in Paper Writing
  • How to Conclude With Power
  • Tips for Perfect Paper Formatting
  • Tech Dangers for Students
  • How to use Grammarly to Help your Writing
  • Formatting in MLA, Chicago, APA, etc.
  • Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Sources
  • Quotations, Allusions, and Paraphrasing: Using Sources in Writing
  • What is an introduction?
  • What is a research question? an argument? a thesis statement?
  • What is a literature review? (and how to do it)
  • A review of methods and methodologies in undergrad research
  • Quantitative v. qualitative methods
  • Using Images in Academic Writing
  • How to do Case Studies
  • Bringing your interests and specialities into your academic writing in other courses
  • Working through and with your learning disabilities
  • Finding support for Mental Illness as a Student
  • Building perseverance

That’s just a few ideas. Perhaps you can add some more! Use the comments, send me a tweet, or go to the discussion on my Facebook wall that is already in play.

About Brenton Dickieson

“A Pilgrim in Narnia” is a blog project in reading and talking about the work of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the worlds they touched. As a "Faith, Fantasy, and Fiction" blog, we cover topics like children’s literature, apologetics and philosophy, myths and mythology, fantasy, theology, cultural critique, art and writing. This blog includes my thoughts as I read through Lewis and Tolkien and reflect on my own life and culture. In this sense, I am a Pilgrim in Narnia--or Middle Earth, or Fairyland. I am often peeking inside of wardrobes, looking for magic bricks in urban alleys, or rooting through yard sale boxes for old rings. If something here captures your imagination, leave a comment, “like” a post, share with your friends, or sign up to receive Narnian Pilgrim posts in your email box. Brenton Dickieson is a father, husband, friend, university lecturer, and freelance writer from Prince Edward Island, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter, @BrentonDana.
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5 Responses to Help Me Find Video Resources for Undergrad Student Research, Writing, and Life

  1. Pingback: Help Me Find Video Resources for Undergrad Student Research, Writing, and Life – Glyn Hnutu-healh: History, Alchemy, and Me

  2. Melinda Johnson says:

    The curriculum we are using for high school writing and speech has all of that, including a course on how to study.


    • Thanks Melinda. Do you have a particular video you would recommend? I am a little doubtful. Students seem to arrive at University with very little idea of what it is, so a high school resource isn’t something I thought of.


  3. Wayne Stauffer says:

    I teach Comp I & II at my community college, and I do a demonstration of the References tab functions in Microsoft Word for inserting citations and building the bibliography.


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