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Features of an Effective Library Research Assignment
Assignments should address specific information literacy outcomes, such as:
develop a research question differentiate between scholarly and popular sources. recognize that information is communicated in a variety of forms (e.g., newspapers, journals, government documents, etc.) identify appropriate research databases and construct effective search strategies to locate information. evaluate the authority and value of resources.
Click here for additional information literacy outcomes.
Assignments should be:
given in writing rather than orally so that students don't misinterpret instructions. free of unfamiliar terminology. For example, many students do not understand the terms "peer-reviewed journal" or "primary and secondary sources." clearly written. Specific research sources should be identified by their full titles. For example, instead of using the term "library computer for books," use CSUB Online Catalog. current. The library's services may change and its resources may be replenished with new ones or others may be withdrawn. In addition, ways of searching and accessing information is constantly changing.
assigning scavenger hunts or obscure trivia. These exercises fail to teach students the research process or how to approach searching conceptually. Consequently, students view these assignments as "busy work" and librarians usually end up providing the answers. giving a large class the same topic that requires a reliance on printed material. These sources will soon be checked out, and, in the case of printed periodicals, pages are often removed. vague topics such as, "history of slavery" or "the feminist movement," without providing guidance on how to narrow a topic.
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