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Designing Research Assignments   Tags: faculty research assignments alternatives to research papers  

Clear learning outcomes for library-based research
Last Updated: May 1, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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More Assignment Ideas

Alternatives to Research Papers Compiled by Kathy Labadorf, University of Connecticut Libraries.

Alternatives to Traditional Research Papers Compiled by Jennifer Dorner; Cody Hennessy, UC Berkeley Libraries.

Assignment Ideas Compiled by Smith College Libraries.


    Alternatives to Research Papers

    This list scratches the surface of how to integrate research into courses without papers. Check out the left sidebar for more ideas. Have a great idea for this list? Share it with us!

          Appropriate for 100-level courses:

    • Have students compile an annotated bibliography on a particular topic and justify why they selected each item.
    • Have students review and comment on each others' bibliographies.
    • Have students compare and contrast the treatment of a topic using scholarly, popular, and trade sources.
    • Have students create an introductory guide or pathfinder on a topic

           Appropriate for 200-level courses:

    • Have students write a critique on an article and provide supporting documentation for their argument.
    • Have students examine the literature of a particular discipline in order to determine how information is compiled, disseminated, and evaluated. Have students discuss how credibility is constructed in a particular field.
    • Have students find reviews of a book or article from the time it was published. Have students critique the scholarly impact of the work using the reviews and modern articles that build upon the author's ideas.
    • Have students conduct oral histories and use primary and scholarly sources to provide a framework for context and analysis.
    • Have students create a timeline in order to trace key moments in a scholarly conversation or in a scholar's career.


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