Leckie, G. (1996, May). Desperately seeking citations: Uncovering faculty assumptions about the undergraduate research... Journal of Academic Librarianship, 22(3), 201. Link to article: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=9606153750&site=ehost-live
"Overworked reference librarians in college and university libraries have all too often described the following scenario: A first year student timidly approaches the reference desk with a question--where would you find information about abortion? Further probing by the librarian reveals (thankfully) that this question has nothing to do with the student's personal situation, but is a topic the student has chosen for a research paper in a first year sociology course.
The librarian asks what particular aspects of abortion the student is interested in, and in response, the student silently shows the librarian the handout she received in class about the research paper. For their paper, the students must choose any controversial topic of current interest to society, discuss why the topic is controversial, and consider the societal implications of different courses of action with respect to the issue. On the handout, examples of controversial topics are suggested, including gay rights, abortion, ordination of women, and banning the seal hunt. The paper is due by the end of term, and must demonstrate the use of both books and journals.
By the end of the day, several more students have approached the desk about their topics for this paper. By the end of the week, about 200 students have asked for help on this assignment. More are still likely to come, many with only days left until the paper is due. All are desperately seeking citations. "