Learning Commons

Research & Writing Assistance

An important part of being a USM student is engaging in scholarly research. Since there are so many fields of study, sources of information, and ever-evolving tools, research involves a skill set that can always be improved or enhanced. On a broader scale, the experience of doing research provides students with life-long transferable skills, including how to find relevant information, evaluate the reliability and objectivity of the source, and provide evidence to support one’s argument.

Similarly, writing effectively involves its own ever-evolving skill set. There are many different types of writing based upon variations among academic disciplines, professional fields, or even between assignments within the same course. Writing requirements can take several forms, from a lab report, discussion post, or blog, to multimodal presentation or a research paper, to name a few. Becoming a stronger writer is a process that requires practice, feedback, reflection, and revision.

There will be many occasions throughout the undergraduate and graduate experiences that will involve engaging in both research and writing. Even experienced students can find this process to be challenging. One goal of the creation of the Learning Commons was to bring together USM’s research and writing resources in one place, both physically and virtually. USM Librarians, Learning Commons Navigators, and Writing Assistants are here to support students’ research and writing every step of the way.

To help our students achieve their research and writing goals, we provide the following:

  • Comprehensive support with research and online instruction provided by professional Reference Librarians during library hours
  • Introductory research support provided by trained peers in the roles of Learning Commons Navigators
  • 24/7 Online access to thousands of peer-reviewed journals, e-books, free interlibrary loan, and many other resources and services
  • Collaborative writing support for both undergraduate and graduate students provided by trained peers in the roles of Writing Assistants
  • Writing strategies and citation resources