Sample Class Assignments
Below are some suggestions intended to give you ideas as you begin
to create library assignments. You will need to add the specifics that make the
assignment relevant to your course.
Note: Assignment ideas reproduced from University
Library @ University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
- Prepare a bibliography of books, journals and web sites with
evaluative annotations. Students may be asked to prepare as a "required reading
list " for the topics, in which case the annotation would include an explanation
of why a particular resource was included.
- Create a web site as a resource for the course. Included on the
site might be discussion groups, e-journals, meta sites, and organizations.
- Prepare a literature review on a particular topic for a specific
- Compare the search results of the same precise topic on one or
more Internet search engines and a library subscription database(s).
- Research a controversial topic using a variety of sources. Discuss
how the different types of sources (e.g. newspapers, websites, news magazines,
academic journals, academic discussion lists) treat the topic.
- Compare a popular and a scholarly article on the same topic in
terms of content, bias, style, audience.
- Research a particular topic in the literature of the 70s and 80s.
Research the same topic in the literature of the 90s and 2000s. Discuss the
evolution of the field based on this exercise.
- Read an editorial and find facts to support or contradict.
- Prepare a nomination of a person or group for a particular Nobel
Prize. In addition to defending their nomination, students would be required to
learn about the prize, criteria for the award, etc.
- Research the publications and career of a prominent scholar. The
assignment might require biographical information, a bibliography of
publications, and analysis of the individual in their field of research.
- Research a classical work through reviews, citation indexes,
biographical information, etc. and discuss the effect of the work on the
- Research a particular company, organization, research lab, etc as
preparation for a (hypothetical) interview.
- Evaluate a relevant web site based on specific criteria, including
accuracy, comprehensiveness, authority, bias, ease of use, visual style.
Students may be asked to compare a number of web sites representing government,
personal, commercial, and scholarly sites.
- Submit a research log with the assignment for which the research
- Submit a major research project at various stages (e.g. outline,
bibliography, introduction). If feedback is provided promptly, students can be
redirected and advised as the project progresses.