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Tips for Designing a Library Assignment

Feel free to request library instruction using our online form

Library assignments that involve searching, selecting, and evaluating resources require research skills that your students may or may not already have.  You can create assignments that address research techniques that will help them learn about the library's resources and develop better research skills.

The following are some general tips for designing a successful library assignment for your students:

Ensure the library has access to the materials you assign for class.

  • You can check online or reach out to one of the librarians to verify.

Don't assume your students already have the necessary skills

  • Explain what a peer-reviewed/scholarly journal article means
  • Explain the difference between scholarly articles vs. periodicals and book reviews. They come across all three types in many library databases.

Set clear objectives & guidelines

  • Be specific about the number and type of sources
  • Specify citation style
  • Clarify which databases they should use for different questions
  • Provide examples or models

Clarify what you mean by "library resource"

  • Students can get confused by the term "library resource" and think that only means books or sources found via the library's search engine. 
  • Explain to your students that databases such as Academic Search Complete, LexisNexis, PsycINFO, Business Source Complete, etc. are library resources that provide access to scholarly articles

Remember that research is a process!

Feel free to request library instruction using our online form