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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
Available online via email or chat

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.
This openly licensed content allows others to cite, share, or modify this content, with credit to TCC Library. When reusing or adapting this content, include this statement in the new document: This content was originally created by Tacoma Community College Library and shared with a CC BY SA 4.0 license.

Tacoma Community College Library - Building 7, 6501 South 19th Street, Tacoma, WA 98466 - P. 253.566.5087

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