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ResearchPath, adapted from Western Michigan University Libraries, is an online, interactive research tutorial designed to introduce students to the general concepts of college research. The tutorial covers the research process from initial topic selection to citation styles and plagiarism.


Research Path content is organized into six modules, complete with quizzes.

  • Module 1: College Level Research
  • Module 2: Getting the Assignment Ready for Research – Define and refine a research topic
  • Module 3: Searching the Missouri State University Library Catalog – Learn how to use the Library catalog
  • Module 4: Finding Articles – Learn how to search the Library articles’ databases
  • Module 5: Searching the Internet – Learn how to effectively search the Internet
  • Module 6: Citing Sources – Learn basic citation and how to avoid plagiarism


How Does it Work?

  • Each of the tutorial’s six modules takes about 5-7 minutes to complete and students can complete one or more modules at a time, although the modules are progressive and build upon one another.
  • It is interactive; there are opportunities for students to do hands-on exercises in each module and a final quiz at the end of each module to assess student knowledge and learning. A summary of questions answered right or wrong, with feedback also provided.
  • Quizzes are automatically graded and scores made available to the instructor.
  • Students can complete the tutorial on their own time outside of class.

How Can I Integrate the Tutorial into my Teaching?

  • The tutorial can be assigned as homework either as a grade or as extra credit.
  • Including Research Path in your syllabus will be a more powerful tool for encouraging students to use it.
  • Note: the original version, Searchpath, is still available.

Who is Research Path Designed for?

  • Research Path can be used by those students who are taking online course, in conjunction with an in-house library visit or as a link in a class BB shell.

Does Research Path Replace Library Instruction?

  • No, we continue to offer course-related instruction and hope that you will incorporate a library session into your syllabus.
  • Feel free to sign up for a session the Services section, using Request Instruction form, of the Library homepage. A librarian will help to set-up a time that best fits your schedule. We will suggest assignments to support your course instruction needs

For questions or comments, contact the Computer Services Help Desk