Contact Information
Malia Willey
Malia Willey

Malia is available to answer any questions you have about instruction in the library.

Library Instruction

Designing Research Assignments

Creating a research assignment? The Monroe Library faculty can offer effective and creative ideas and collaborations.

Best Practices for Research Assignments

An effective research assignment:

  • Challenges and offers guidance to students at the appropriate level
  • Relates to the learning goals of the assignment and course
  • Explains the purpose and learning goals of the assignment
  • Includes the contact information of the professor and librarian
  • Indicates the number, type, and format of sources required
  • Identifies relevant library and other information resources
  • Addresses how to evaluate sources in a variety of formats
  • Provides guidance on how to incorporate and cite information
  • Instructs students on academic honesty and how to avoid plagiarism
  • Defines the criteria for how the assignment will be evaluated
  • Incorporates the research process and library instruction into class time as needed
  • Creates opportunities to incorporate feedback from the professor
  • Consults or informs the library of the assignment as needed

Research Assignment Alternatives

  • Advertising campaign
  • Advocate for a cause
  • Annotated bibliography
  • Article summaries
  • Blog, website, or wiki creation
  • Book review
  • Browse a periodical for characteristics, scope, and trends
  • Class compilation
  • Compare coverage of a topic from a popular and a scholarly source
  • Compare information on the same topic from different disciplines
  • Debate
  • Exhibition
  • Follow a current event
  • Group discussion with discussion leaders
  • Group presentation
  • Letter to an editor
  • Literature review
  • Performance
  • Poster or infographic session
  • Presentation or speech
  • Research journal
  • Trace a reference in a popular publication to the original source
  • Video or screen capture project
  • Website evaluation
  • Write a grant

Learn More

Assigning Inquiry: How Handouts for Research Assignments Guide Today's College Students

Course Assignments Fail to Train Undergraduates for Research in the Digital Age

Major Findings: The Project Information Literacy 2010 Student Survey

Project Information Literacy: Handout Study