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TCC Library: Research assignment tips

Designing a library research writing assignment

"029.5" by Michael Perez is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

WRRAC and librarians collaborating

The TCC WRRAC (Writing Reading Researching Across the Curriculum) members have identified several "best practices" when designing a writing assignment for your students where library research is required.

Here are just a few best practices:

  • Ensure that your students have access to the necessary resources to successfully complete the assignment. Work with a librarian.
  • Create a handout for your students describing the goals, objectives and requirements of the assignment. Include:
    • Clarification of your requirements regarding the types of sources you will accept. Example: If your require that your students use a book as a source, is an e-book acceptable as well?
    • Clarification about what your expectations are for the quality of sources you will accept. What do you consider "reliable" or "authoritative"? Work with a librarian.
  • Ensure that your source requirements are appropriate for a wide variety of topics. Work with a librarian.
  • In addition to giving your students a due date, consider adding incremental due dates where your students hand in assignment proposals, source annotations, reference lists, samples of their source integrations, rough drafts,...
    • ...or provide your students with a suggested timeline for when they should complete each stage of their research and writing assignment.
  • Provide your students with the grading rubric you will use to evaluate their work. Include in that rubric grading criteria for the process and/or products of research. Work with a librarian.

How do you work with a librarian?

Contact us by using either the contact info on the right of this page, or by visiting our Staff Directory, linked below.

Image source: "029.5" by Michael Perez is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

DLOs and student research

Two of TCC's Degree Learning Outcomes are directly applicable to the Library's instruction program and to student research/writing assignments:

  • Critical Thinking & Problem Solving (CRT): Compare, analyze and evaluate information and ideas to solve problems.
  • Information & Information Technology (IIT): Locate, evaluate, retrieve and ethically use relevant and current information of appropriate authority for academic or, as applicable, specific professional/ technical applications.

Contact your faculty librarians

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Faculty Librarians
Library Reference Desk, Bldg 7

CC BY SA license

Except where otherwise noted, the content in these guides by Tacoma Community College Library is licensed under CC BY SA 4.0.

Tacoma Community College Library - Building 7, 6501 South 19th Street, Tacoma, WA 98466 - P. 253.566.5134