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Research Assignments: Home


Library Tutorials in Canvas Commons
Explore the library’s growing collection of online video tutorials designed to help faculty deepen the quality of research instruction. Search for “library” in Canvas Commons.

Databases by Discipline 
Pick a discipline from the list to access recommended online resources.

Teaching Research Process of the Discipline

  1. Begin by familiarizing students with practices and literature of your discipline
    Introducing undergraduates to the research processes of your discipline presents a great opportunity to engage students with your subject on a deeper level while helping them become better-rounded researchers. Familiarizing students with the literature of the discipline is especially important in introductory, general education courses, as it might be the only opportunity for students to learn the subject.


    • Original research
      Read and discuss an original research article. Discuss study methodology. Discuss whether the experiment has been well designed. Discuss results and implications of the experiment.

    • Literature review
      Read and discuss a literature review article. Discuss the purpose of review articles.

    • Evidence-based practice literature
      Read and discuss an evidence-based practice article. Discuss evidence-based practice for health or social science fields. Discuss the role of systematic reviews. Discuss how to search for evidence-based practice literature.

    • Qualitative and quantitative research
      Read and discuss a qualitative and a quantitative research article on the same topic. Discuss how the two research methodologies are used in your discipline. 

    Library Tutorials:
    Select from the list of library modules available in Canvas Commons. Search for "library" in Canvas Commons to select and add tutorials to your course.

    • Scholarly Materials
    • Discipline-specific Virtual Library tutorials
    • Citations
    • Academic Integrity & Plagiarism
    • Evaluating Information
  2. Assignments

    Understandably, you might not have a lot of time in your course for a research assignment. Consider substituting a research paper with an alternative research assignment. Arguably, it could be more valuable in introducing students to your discipline.


    • Identify important resources in a given discipline. Resources might include journals, websites, organizations, discussion groups, and other options, depending on the discipline. Ask students to annotate each resource explaining why they think it is important.

    • Identify a gap in the area of study, an issue that hasn’t been answered or addressed.

    • Design your own original study or experiment.

  3. Ask students to reflect on their research process

    Asking students to reflect on their research process encourages them to focus on the process and not just the product, helping students to become better researchers.


    • ENG 121 online discussion
      State your thesis statement. Explain your research strategy. What library databases have you used so far and what keywords did you enter to search for your topic? Were you successful right away? Did you have to change your keywords? Did you employ any strategies to narrow down and to better focus your search results? Have you learned anything new about the opposing side of the argument? Have you learned anything new about your side? Then please respond to two other students in the class suggesting additional research strategies for their topics.

  4. Traditional research paper assignments

    If you are including a traditional research paper, consider breaking it into progressive assignments over the course of the semester.

    • Topic and research question
    • Annotated bibliography
    • Reflection discussion
    • Thesis statement
    • Paper

Virtual Library Director

Yuliya Lef's picture
Yuliya Lef
Dillon Campus
P.O. Box 1414
333 Fiedler Ave.
Dillon, CO 80435