Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Faculty Guide to the Library

Find out what the library can do to help you save time and connect your students to expert research guidance.

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.

Clarity

  • 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.

Library Resources

  • 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.")