Skip to main content

Research Assignment Design for Student Success: Home

What Happens to Research Assignments

Most students still believe research is simply gathering some sources almost at random, taking a quote from this source, one from another, and so on, and then stringing them together with some loose transitions. In my twenty years as a librarian I cannot count the number of times a student has told me, ‘I just need three (or four or five) sources on topic x,’ and they take the first three or four or five they find. They are not at all concerned about a theme or thesis.”


Isbell, Dennis. "What Happens to Your Research Assignment at the Library?" College Teaching 56, no. 1 (Winter 2008): 3-6. 

Designing Research Assignments for Student Success

Are you designing or updating an assignment with a research component? Do you need an assignment that meets a research-based or Information Management Gen Ed requirement? Do you want to beef up the information literacy skills of your students? Do you get more questions about that research assignment than you want?

Research assignments can be excellent teaching tools. Effective research assignments develop research skills, encourage your students to engage more deeply in a subject by identifying connections and critically thinking about a topic, and help students learn the research methods of your discipline.

The librarians at the Drimmer Library can help you design or locate an applicable research assignment. We can also help you locate and embed support/scaffolding materials, so that your students can concentrate on the course content and their learning, rather than getting frustrated over the minutia of the research process.


Integrating Information Literacy into Courses