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Research Process & Skills
- Explicitly tie the assignment into the course objectives and learning outcomes so students understand the purpose.
- Break the assignment into manageable pieces and due dates: e.g., topic proposal, detailed outline and/or annotated bibliography, first draft.
- Develop assignments that require real world, problem-solving activities to develop students' critical thinking skills.
- Consider what workplace skills students need to develop beyond "written communication" to integrate into the assignment.
- Don't assume students have successfully done college-level research prior to your class! Ask students at the start of the semester or when giving the assignment what they've experienced before. Encourage them to meet with a librarian. Recommend guides and tutorials they can use to develop their understanding.
- Always provide your assignment guidelines in writing for your students to refer to (it also helps the librarians and writing coaches assist your students!).
- Be specific. Be clear what you mean by "scholarly." If you forbid websites, suggest library databases as alternative sources that would be acceptable.
- Choose a citation style for your students to follow (MLA, APA, or Chicago) and don't introduce custom variations.
- Verify that the library has adequate resources for your students to complete the assignment, especially if it's been a while since you've used the assignment or you teach at multiple institutions.
- Recommend databases by name, not by vendor (e.g. it's "Academic Search Complete," not "EBSCO.")