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Library CLOSED until further notice

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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Limited Access

Beginning Monday, March 23, Hoover Library will be CLOSED until further notice. Virtual reference services (use the "ASK US" or "CHAT" button) will be available from 1 PM - 9 PM Sunday, 9 AM - 9 PM Monday-Thursday, and 9 AM - 4 PM Friday. Hours are subject to change at any time. Please see our Hours page for current building availability. For more information, see the McDaniel College COVID-19 Information Page
Faculty: Please see our COVID-19 Library Access
Students: Please see our COVID-19 Student Access page.

Library Instruction/Information Literacy: Creating Effective Research Assignments

Creating Effective Assignments

 

Creating Effective Research Assignments 

Assume minimal library knowledge

Although many students may be familiar with using some library tools (e.g., dictionaries, encyclopedias), few really understand the intricacies of databases or keyword searching, and many have never used research journals.

 

Explain the assignment clearly, preferably in writing

Give students a clear idea of what the assignment involves, suggesting types of sources to be used (e.g., books, scholarly and non-scholarly materials, websites, etc.) . Provide complete, accurate citations for specific works that you want them to find in the library.

Always be sure the library holds the needed information

Students become frustrated when the materials they’re instructed to use aren’t owned by the library or are checked out. Plan ahead to ensure that materials are readily available in the library or are purchased to support the assignment. Be sure to place items on reserve if many students need to use them. 

Be clear about what style you want students to use for citing sources

Often students don’t understand the purpose of various style guides or which one to use, so it’s a good idea to explain what one is and to clarify the style that is required for a paper or project.

Establish Sequential Steps in the Research Process

Help the students understand the process of research. Have specific assignments due at brief intervals. Such requirements help to combat plagiarism. Consider the following four steps for assignments:

·         Statement of Topic with questions to be explored

·         A working bibliography formatted in APA or MLA or other style: a first glance at possible sources  found through the library's catalog and/or databases

·         A final bibliography of the sources which will be used

·         A first draft

 

 

Reserves

Most students don’t understand the concept of reserves. It is a good idea to provide a clear explanation of why supplementary course material may be placed on the reserve in the library and the process for accessing it. 

Library Instruction

Librarians offer a wide range of classes and tours, from basic orientation through more specialized research guidance.  Scheduling a library instruction class is easy! Follow these steps to schedule an instruction class:

·         Go to the library’s homepage at https://hoover.mcdaniel.edu/

·         Click on For Faculty

·         Click on Instruction Resources

·         Click on Instruction Calendar

Creating Effective Research Assignments

Assume minimal library knowledge

Although many students may be familiar with using some library tools (e.g., dictionaries, encyclopedias), few really understand the intricacies of databases or keyword searching, and many have never used research journals.

 

Explain the assignment clearly, preferably in writing

Give students a clear idea of what the assignment involves, suggesting types of sources to be used (e.g., books, scholarly and non-scholarly materials, websites, etc.) . Provide complete, accurate citations for specific works that you want them to find in the library.


Always be sure the library holds the needed information

Students become frustrated when the materials they’re instructed to use aren’t owned by the library or are checked out. Plan ahead to ensure that materials are readily available in the library or are purchased to support the assignment. Be sure to place items on reserve if many students need to use them. 


Be clear about what style you want students to use for citing sources

Often students don’t understand the purpose of various style guides or which one to use, so it’s a good idea to explain what one is and to clarify the style that is required for a paper or project.


Establish Sequential Steps in the Research Process

Help the students understand the process of research. Have specific assignments due at brief intervals. Such requirements help to combat plagiarism. Consider the following four steps for assignments:

  •  Statement of Topic with questions to be explored
  •  A working bibliography formatted in APA or MLA or other style: a first glance at possible sources  found through the library's catalog and/or databases
  •  A final bibliography of the sources which will be used
  •  A first draft

 

Reserves

Most students don’t understand the concept of reserves. It is a good idea to provide a clear explanation of why supplementary course material may be placed on the reserve in the library and the process for accessing it. 


Library Instruction

Librarians offer a wide range of classes and tours, from basic orientation through more specialized research guidance.  Scheduling a library instruction class is easy! Follow these steps to schedule an instruction class:

  •  Click on For Faculty

  •  Click on Instruction Resources

  •  Click on Instruction Request Form