We are happy to help you develop or incorporate new research assignments into your classroom. The Library will support your efforts through collection development, library instruction, and creating new research guides.
Common Research Assignments
- Examining a controversial topic: Have your students explore a controversial topic like gun control, abortion, or cancel culture. These topics can be presented in a research paper, presentation, or through other options like creating a website or brochure. This exercise will help students learn how to narrow a topic, search for information, and present information in an intelligent and ethical manner. The library can provide useful resources for these topics and assistance with MLA or APA styles.
- Reviewing an article: Have students review a specific article or find an article to review in one of our databases. A good introduction to finding and evaluating information.
- Annotated bibliography: Have students find at least one or several sources on a topic. This exercises provides a good introduction to finding good information and providing citation(s) for that information.
- Find an additional reading from a class resource: Have your students dig deeper into topics covered in class by using the bibliographies or suggested readings from their textbook, websites, or articles that have been used in class.
- Evaluating a website: It is important that the future leaders in society know how to evaluate information based on principles like currency, authority, or objectivity.
- Concept mapping: When it comes to research or problem solving in general many students do not know where to start. A concept mapping assignment can help that. Using the shapes option in Microsoft Word you can have your students show how they developed and narrowed a topic. They can start with an issue like solitary confinement and break it down into sub-catagories such as psychological effect, juveniles, etc. Some instructors have followed up with students finding an article or articles on their narrowed topic.
More Assignment Ideas
Berkeley University: Alternatives to the Traditional Research Paper
Eckerd College: Parts of a Citation