Knapp Research Checklist

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Melanie Knapp
Head of Reference and Instructional Services
George Mason University Law Library
3301 Fairfax Drive, MSN 1G1
Arlington, VA 22201-4426
Tel: (703) 993-8111

This checklist serves two purposes for our candidate journal members who are writing notes and comments: (1) to organize for them a list of useful resources generally relied upon for scholarly research; (2) to memorialize the resources they cover in individual meetings with librarians concerning their particular topics.

I provide a lecture on useful resources for all journal students in their Scholarly Writing class. In addition, each student is required to meet individually with a librarian to discuss his or her research for the required note or comment. My lecture follows the outline of this checklist. Then, when students meet with a librarian, the librarian uses the checklist, highlighting useful resources as they are discussed, “x-ing” out any resources that aren’t useful to the particular student’s note or comment, and providing any unique or special resources that the student will find helpful for the particular note or comment by adding them to the checklist. The students leave the meeting with a structured checklist of materials to consult. We find that many students have already been working with the checklist before their meeting with the librarian. This enables the student and librarian to focus on any particular difficulties the student is having.