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Gather information (Library & Writing Centre orientation, Stage 2)

Orientation for students who have started their coursework and are needing more practical, hands-on information. What does research and writing as a student entail?

Gather information: Learn more from others

A large great blue heron with grey plumage and a bright orange beak is standing on a rock next to rippled waterHave you started your coursework and you're needing to know more about research and writing? This stage is for you! In this stage, we're focusing on practical, hands-on information about the basics of research and writing to help you learn how, as Elder Nadine explained, to “gather information, bring it together and combine it with your knowledge so that you can prepare to share” (Charles, 2018, as cited in Alphonse et al., n.d., Gather Information section)..

Confused? This guide is part 2 of a 4-stage Library & Writing Centre Orientation. Go back to the beginning.

Image by jamesvancouver via Getty Images


Alphonse, S., Charles, N., & Bell, T. (n.d.). Four feathers writing guide. Royal Roads University.


When developing the Library and Writing Centre orientation, we were guided by the Traditional Knowledge shared in the Four Feathers Writing Guide (Alphonse et al., n.d.) – in particular, the four Traditional stages of learning shared by Cowichan and T'Sou-ke Nations Elder Shirley Alphonse and SC’IÁNEW̱ Elder Nadine Charles.

Ownership of Traditional Knowledge remains with Nations

We acknowledge with gratitude the Traditional Knowledge shared by Elders and Knowledge Keepers in the Four Feathers Writing Guide, as well as the permissions we were given to share the Traditional Knowledge. We additionally sought and obtained permission to weave the Traditional stages of learning shared in the Four Feathers Writing Guide into the structure of this orientation. The ownership of the Traditional Knowledge remains in perpetuity with the appropriate Nation(s); accordingly, the information should not be re-used without explicit permission from the Nation(s).

Land acknowledgement

Image of totem pole carved by Coast Salish artist Tom LaFortune, purple flowers in grassy meadow, and forest in the distanceThe Royal Roads campus is located on the traditional Lands of the Lekwungen-speaking peoples, the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations.

Image © Royal Roads University

First Peoples Principles of Learning

Image of First Peoples Principles of Learning poster with feather, grey background, text, and FNESC logoWe're intentionally trying to move away from dominant Western approaches in this orientation, and we're striving to embody the First Peoples Principles of Learning in that effort. Click on the poster if you would like to access a PDF version of the resource. For a plain text version, please visit First Peoples Principles of Learning. The First Nations Education Steering Committee is the copyright holder of this image. The image is shared here with permission; the image should not be duplicated elsewhere without specific permission from the First Nations Education Steering Committee.

Image © First Nations Education Steering Committee


Alphonse, S., Charles, N., & Bell, T. (n.d.). Four feathers writing guide. Royal Roads University.

First Nations Steering Committee. (n.d.). First Peoples principles of learning.

Sections to explore

Exterior of library building adjacent to pond and large green cedar treesWhat's in the Library? How can you borrow books and other materials?
Learn more about the Library building and its amenities, as well as how you can borrow books and other materials from RRU Library as well as other libraries. 


Great blue heron standing in still water along a rocky shoreWhat are some expectations about research and writing you should know about?
Learn about the expectations of North American academic English and introductory resources that students tell us they wish they'd known about sooner.


Great blue heron standing on a sandy beach next to a red and white circular life preserverWhat do you need to know about searching for resources?
Learn about searching for sources beyond assigned course readings, including how to design search strategies to narrow your results.


Great blue heron standing on a rocky shore with water in the backgroundWhat do you need to know about citing sources?
Learn why citing sources is important for the work you're doing at RRU, how to use citations to give credit to other authors, and resources to help you learn how to cite using the APA Style rules.