Librarians are always available to help, but if you want in-depth research help, you can make an appointment with us. We will help you find or narrow a paper topic, locate appropriate sources, and cite your sources correctly. Research appointments typically last an hour.Make an Appointment
How to find us:Hampton: 7:45 am - 8 pm M-F
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Define the learning outcomes. Make sure your students understand why they are doing the assignment and how they’ll benefit.
Base outcomes on one or more of the information literacy competencies. These can easily be adapted to projects in most disciplines.
Consider faceted or scaffolded assignments. Break assignments into parts, submitted in sequence. Students will only do well if they build on what they’ve learned and take into account instructor feedback.
Be creative. Consider assignments outside the traditional research paper. This can also help reduce plagiarism.
Write clear directions. Communicate your expectations. Consider creating a rubric.
Collaborate with a librarian. We can help find resources to support your assignment and can you keep you up to date on changes that may affect your assignments.
Send us a copy of your assignment; we use these assignments as a "heads up" for the librarians working at our research help desk.
Test and retest the assignment. Is it doable? Can you complete the assignment with resources/time available to students? Is it up to date? Does it still meet your objectives?
Don’t overestimate your students’ research skills. Dissect the assignment and analyze skills needed to complete it. Consider working with a librarian to design instruction, tutorials, etc.
Don’t set limitations that are unclear or inappropriate to the assignment. For example:
Requiring scholarly journal articles for non-scholarly topics.
Banning the use of “Internet” or “Online” resources. A large portion of our library’s resources is online and this terminology confuses students.