Not a Research Paper: Alternative Assignments to Teach Research Practices

Information literacy skills and concepts are best learned in practice, but not every class or topic warrants a full-scale research paper. The links below point to alternative assignments that provide meaningful research practice, but on a smaller scale. The suggestions and examples come from faculty and librarians from a variety of universities and subject areas.

Instruction librarians are available for consultation in designing information literacy-rich assignments, and for instruction to students on the skills and tools to successfully complete the assignment.

Research and Writing Resources
from Indiana University's History department

Engaging Students in the Game of Research
from the American Historical Association

Collins-Instructional Program: Ideas for Library Assignments
from the University of Puget Sound's Collins Library; assignments are suggested for a variety of disciplines.

Designing Research Assignments
from Drew University Library; guidelines and suggestions for how to develop your own research assignments, including some examples.

Creative Library Assignments from Our Faculty
from the Gustavus Adolphus College Library; includes descriptions of actual assignments from faculty teaching art & art history, biology, communication studies, English, first term seminar, geography, history, library, and political science.

Lawrence Library: Alternatives to Term Papers
from Lawrence University Library; includes Reasons for Alternatives, Alternative Assignments & Activities, and Tips for Successful Alternatives

Term Paper Alternatives: Ideas for Information-Based Assignments
from Kings University Library; sections include Learning Research Skills, Understanding the Structure of "the Literature," and Critical Reading.

Ideas for Incorporating Research into First Year Student Courses
from Buena Vista University Library; includes sample assignments for meeting information literacy goals for first-year students.

For information or consultation regarding D'Amour Library's Information Literacy instructional program, please contact Mary Jane Sobinski-Smith, Head of Information Literacy. You may also schedule an instruction session for your class with this online form.

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D'Amour Library, Western New England University, 1215 Wilbraham Road, Springfield, MA 01119
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