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Assignment Design for Research and Writing

Resources to reference when creating research and writing assignments to maximize clarity and accessibility.


Assigned Readings    ♦    Secondary Sources   ♦    Primary Sources

  • If you are assigning the topics--have you checked that the library has sources available?
  • Emerging issues and topics will usually not have print sources. The most current information is electronic only. Keep that in mind when assigning research parameters. 
  • Unless the students are working from their assigned readings, students should work on separate topics to ensure that there is enough sources available for everyone in the library
  • When students are doing secondary source research, there may not be enough material to support someone doing a topic who is new to research. Generally new researchers are looking very narrowly at a topic and get frustrated when they can’t find research that discusses their exact topic in detail. Discuss what your students should do if they do not find the perfect source (broaden topics, change topics, etc.).
  • Primary source research is complex but rewarding! Ensure that your students have enough subject knowledge and the appropriate skills to utilize these sources. Scaffolding your assignments will help your students work with primary sources. 

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