Skip to Main Content

Faculty Services: Integrating Research Projects

Library services and resources for faculty.

Why Assign Research Topics?

By integrating research assignments into your curriculum, you can help ensure that your students improve their critical thinking and research skills and learn to wade through a deluge of data to find trustworthy resources, which will prepare them for future research at school, at work, and in life.

Before Assigning a Topic

Make sure you know what resources are out there first! Ask a librarian to see what is available locally. If the library doesn't have sufficient resources for your topic, recommend some reading or put something on reserve at the library so it will be available for your students.

When creating your assignment, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What types of sources do I want my students to use?
  • Do my students know how to locate, analyze, and cite outside sources?
  • How does working on this assignment improve information-seeking skills?

Schedule a library session for your class or for yourself if you aren't sure!

Sample Assignment Ideas

  • Annotated Bibliography: Annotate each citation with a summary of the source, how it was found, and how it was useful to research.
  • Biography: Write on a scholar or researcher in your field of study.
  • Comparisons: Compare and analyze information from two different sources, explaining which one might be more credible and why.
  • Critical Thinking: Select a published opinion piece and find facts to support it. Cite sources, discuss reliability, and consider how the sources could be used in other ways.
  • Literature Review: Summarize the literature on a specific topic. Identify key articles or studies and trace the evolution of thinking on that topic through modern times.
  • Creative Alternatives: Construct webpages, blog posts, magazine articles, or posters that summarize a topic, analyze information, and link to outside sources.


  • Vary the types of sources (books, database articles, websites, etc.) required for your assignment so students get used to locating and using multiple sources.
  • Construct a list of academic resources to give students an idea of where to start.
  • Schedule a trip to the library or ask your librarian to create a list of some appropriate resources to help students complete the assignment.