Room L-306 (3rd floor)
An effective research assignment...
Some instructors differentiate between magazines and journals, while others use the terms interchangeably.
Does "library computer" mean the online library catalog or some other online database, or something else?
Use full and current titles of journals and databases; avoid abbreviations and superceeded titles.
What do you mean by "the web"? Many high quality, expensive electronic research tools are made available by the library on the web. These resources are not to be confused with what is freely retrieved by searching the web.
Assuming most students know the basics
Do not assume that your students have had prior research experience or experience using a campus library.
Requiring resources not available
The materials that Spiva Library owns or leases change from semester to semester. Spiva Library may not own or have online access to the same materials as other libraries you have used. Retest an assignment before giving it out.
Giving an entire class the exact same assignment
Needed resources will be difficult to find at best, disappear or be vandalized at worst. Instead of asking the whole class to research the history of IBM, ask them to research a major public American corporation of their choosing.
Giving a scavenger hunt
The least effective assignment possible asks students to locate random facts. It lacks a clear purpose, does not teach students to do meaningful library research, and may be frustrating. Librarians rather than students frequently end up locating the answers. In general, these assignments result in a high level of student frustration with regard to using the library.
Place it on reserve - If you have a large number of students using the same source, consider placing it on Reserve so that all will have easy access to it.
Provide us with a copy - If you have numerous students doing an assignment it can be very helpful if we have a copy of it as well. We will then be better prepared to help your students locate appropriate sources. Drop it off at the Reference Desk or email it to: Crabtree-N@mssu.edu
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