Every week, the librarians at the research desk meet with dozens of students seeking help on their research assignments. As you’re crafting your prompts and talking with students about their assignments, here are a few tips from our research librarians.

  1. Make sure you’re clear about what kinds of sources you require. For example, 
    • The phrase “no web sources” often makes the student believe that they cannot use a scholarly journal that’s accessed electronically. 
    • “Credible,” “reliable,” “peer-reviewed,” and “evidence-based” can all mean different types of sources.
    • “Primary sources” vary from discipline to discipline.
    • “Recent” means different time periods depending on the topic.
  2. Provide examples of what good research/sources look like. The LibGuides provide lots of helpful information organized by subject. 
  3. Put on reserve any sources that most of your class will be using so that students don’t lose access to them.
  4. Require scaffolding assignments to encourage students to start on assignments early.

As a final reminder the Adams Center, Writing Center, and Research Desk are happy to give feedback on your prompts. Depending on the assignment and its frequency, the library might even be able to purchase resources for your class!