Designing Effective Research Assignments

Well-designed, course-related research assignments are an effective way to introduce students to the process of academic and professional research.

We will be happy to work with you to design an appropriate assignment that will achieve your course goals/objectives. Consult the list of Subject Liaison Librarians to determine the most appropriate librarian to assist you. With at least a week to ten days' lead time, and a copy of your syllabus and the assignment, librarians can prepare library instruction lectures, workshops, and written materials geared specifically to your course and assignment.

Sending an advance copy of the assignment and its due date to your Subject Liaison Librarian will ensure that we are ready to help your students at the Reference Desk when needed.

Few students really understand the process of finding and obtaining library materials. There are few experiences more frustrating than looking for what is unavailable, or has been checked out. If you would like your students to use specific books and articles, provide complete citations, including links if possible. Check CLICsearch to make sure we have what you need, and use Course Reserves for heavily-used materials.

Include a list of steps involved in the research process, and create a series of assignments to be completed in stages. Contact your subject liaison librarian to request a library session, where a librarian will review strategies with the class and provide hands-on experience using appropriate print and online tools.