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Creating Successful Research Skills Assignments  

Last Updated: Apr 23, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Creating Successful Research Skills Assignments

Purpose of Creating Assignments to Teach Research Skills

Many students never develop good research skills during their years at the University of Utah. These students are often unaware of research tools or don't understand the expectations of scholarly disciplines. Assignments that teach research skills can help students gain confidence and facility in using research tools, a better understanding of disciplinary criteria, and a sense of how scholars use resources in their research.

What is a Research Skills Assignment?

The most common research skills assignment is the research paper or project, which helps students learn to synthesize, analyze and interpret information using appropriate disciplinary content and methodology. In and of themselves, however, research papers may not help students learn the many intricacies of research that go into completing a good paper.

Research skills assignments help students answer the following sorts of questions:

  • What is a scholarly article?
  • What is considered a primary resource in this discipline?
  • How can I thoroughly search the scholarly literature on my subject?
  • How do I evaluate a resource's appropriateness for this assignment?
  • How does scholarly communication function within this discipline?
  • What sort of information is most appropriate for answering my question?

These are not remedial skills! Scholars must be able to answer these questions and others like them, but many Utah students first year and advanced alike-can't.


Please note: the contents of this Guide are based (with permission)  on the University of Pennsylvania's Creating Successful Research Skills Assignments.

Subject Guide

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Alison Regan, Ph.D.
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Associate Librarian
Head of Scholarship and Education Services

J. Willard Marriott Library
(801) 581-3883

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