Consider the following general suggestions for planning and creating writing assignments that work well: Writing assignments can be developed for different purposes:
These students are often unaware of research tools or don't understand the expectations of scholarly disciplines. Assignments that teach research skills can help students gain confidence and facility in using research tools, a better understanding of disciplinary criteria, and a sense of how scholars use resources in their research.
What is a Research Skills Assignment? The most common research skills assignment is the research paper or project, which helps students learn to synthesize, analyze and interpret information using appropriate disciplinary content and methodology. In and of themselves, however, research papers may not help students learn the many intricacies of research that go into completing a good paper.
Research skills assignments help students answer the following sorts of questions: What is a scholarly article? What is considered a primary resource in this discipline? How can I thoroughly search the scholarly literature on my subject?
How do I evaluate Need help with assignments for business course resource's appropriateness for this assignment? How does scholarly communication function within this discipline? What sort of information is most appropriate for answering my question?
These are not remedial skills! Scholars must be able to answer these questions and others like them, but many Penn students-freshmen and upperclassmen alike-can't. What skills do you expect the students to learn, and how do they relate to scholarly practice in the discipline?
Don't assume that students understand basic concepts such as 'databases,' 'abstracts,' or "citations. Try to link research skills assignments to other assignments or otherwise integrate them into the course.
Furthermore, assignments are more valuable if they require students to think critically about the resources' content, function, and relationship to the discipline.
Timing is Everything Consider how your assignment relates to the class as a whole. For example, an assignment to teach students about types of disciplinary methods will work best when accompanied by a lecture or discussion on method.
Make Use of Library Support Services Using the library's resources to assist with your research skills assignment can provide students with a more valuable learning experience. Subject specialist librarians can provide a research skills session designed specifically to your class' needs in an electronic classroom.
Librarians can visit your classroom or use the electronic classroom to teach particular skills, such as evaluating Internet resources or locating primary materials. Librarians can work with your students individually or in small groups to teach advanced research techniques.
Consult with Librarians Librarians can help during all steps in the process of creating research skills assignments.
If you aren't certain what sort of assignment you want to create, a librarian can provide ideas and suggest assignments that have been successful in the past.
If you're in the middle of creating an assignment, a librarian can suggest ways in which the library can support your efforts. If you've already designed an assignment, notifying a librarian will allow the Library to flag problems and provide appropriate support when students have questions.
Example Assignments Breaking down a research assignment One effective way of teaching research skills is to divide a research assignment-such as a paper or other project-into its component parts.
The requirement of completing each step and handing it in for approval motivates students to become familiar with the steps.
Some professors make each step in the process a part of the final grade e. For example, a research paper might be divided into the following steps, which must be handed in at intervals throughout the semester.
Define your topic using appropriate encyclopedia articles, class readings, or scholarly reviews of the literature for background information. Develop a list of relevant keywords and phrases to search in the library catalogs.
Record which keywords best identify relevant resources and explain why. Use databases to find books, articles and web sites that are relevant to your topic. Complete an annotated bibliography explaining why each resource is appropriate for your paper and how it will support the thesis.
Hand in a rough draft, the instructor's critique of which will include an evaluation of the types and appropriateness of information used. Familiarizing students with the scholarly literature Assignment: Browse relevant parts of the stacks, examine one or more subject-specific encyclopedias and browse through articles in several appropriate journals.
With the information you have learned, describe themes, questions and methods that are important to the discipline how does the discipline relate to other disciplines?
Become acquainted with the sort of questions, issues and methodologies that are central to the discipline. Browse through several years of a major journal in your discipline. List the articles that are relevant to a topic in your class.It is true; they can help you with just anything if you need expert help in your homework assignments.
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