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Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014
12:00pm - 1:30am

Planning Tips for Library Assignments

Use these steps to help plan an effective library assignment.

  • Apply assignments to the class material.
    • Students will find the library assignments (and classes) more meaningful if they use the information they find for a task related to topics covered in the course.
  • Recognize that most journals are online and not in print.
    • Many print journals are available online through article databases.
    • With the constant addition of full-text titles to databases our journal holdings continue increasing (presently around 15,000 titles).
  • Provide students with resource lists.
    • List specific information sources or types of sources for a particular assignment so that students have a starting point.
    • Remember: Many scholarly articles are accessible through the Internet, but they are not necessarily “Internet resources.”
  • Avoid these common problems:
    • An entire class looking for one piece of information or researching the same specific topic.
    • Students working from incomplete or incorrect information.
    • Requiring students to use materials the library does not own.
  • Teach research strategies where appropriate.
    • Students often do not have the research skills that experienced researchers have.
  • Consider alternative designs for the assignment.
    • Examine possible research assignments that vary from the traditional research paper, such as:
      • Annotated bibliographies
      • Guides to the key resources in your discipline
      • Comparisons of how a topic is treated in several different reference resources.

Last Updated 10/21/2014