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College Writing 1 Information Literacy Toolkit

Research Assignment Tips

Clarity

  • Be specific: explain what you mean by "scholarly" or "peer reviewed".
  • If you discourage the use of "websites" be sure to clarify what that means and that web-based research databases subscribed to by the library are acceptable.
  • Don't assume students understand how to differentiate between primary and secondary sources.
  • Help students avoid pitfalls by suggesting specific databases or other library resources by name to students.

Work with your librarian to devise shared vocabulary.

Library Resources

  • Check to see that the Library has the resources students need to complete the assignment, especially if you haven't used the assignment/activity in a while or teach at multiple institutions. Oftentimes, the library will not have an item in print, but will have it electronically. 
  • Refer to the databases by name and not by vendor (i.e.: Academic Search Complete is the name of the database, EBSCO or EBSCO Host is the vendor).
  • Be sure to include the full titles of journals or other resources.
  • If multiple students are going to be accessing the same resources, put items on physical or electronic course reserves. 

Research Assignment