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Effective Research Assignments: Handouts

Project Information Literacy on Assignment Handouts

Handout Best Practices

  • Explain the assignment, it's purpose and scope: What do you want students to do? What do you want them to learn? What are your minimum and maximum requirements?

  • Clearly state due dates and type of submission: Breaking up the assignment and staging due dates is helpful; should students submit the assignment by email or via Blackboard, or in print?

  • Clearly state source requirements & recommended resources:

    • Only scholarly sources (such as books and journal articles) and/or general sources such as newspapers and magazine articles? It is especially helpful to recommend specific databases!

    • Is there a minimum or maximum number of sources?

    • Only sources from our library's resources such as our databases and online catalog?

    • Are there sources you want to exclude such as their text or general encyclopedias?

  • State required citation style.

  • Include a scoring rubric.

  • INCLUDE AN EXAMPLE! It is especially helpful to include a link to a former student's well done work for the assignment.

  • Encourage students to consult with a librarian and to take advantage of the Writing Center.

Adapted with permission from "Creating Effective Research Assignments" by Jane Bigelow, Edison State College (August 2013).