Teaching Research in Upper Level Courses

Research done in upper level courses is similar to the goals of WRITD requirements. Students conducting research in these courses should have familiarity with the conventions and shape of the conversation within the discipline. They should also be familiar with specialized sources used within the discipline.

Our assessment plan (pdf) outlines goals for all students; students in upper level courses will be able to identify key research tools, locate high quality sources, articulate salient elements of research within their discipline, and use sources effectively as they enter the scholarly conversation.

We ofer a weekly lab component for students enrolled in POL 200: Analyzing Politics. The lab grew out of a collaboration between Chris Gilbert & Kate Knutson in Political Science and Julie Gilbert in the Library and their shared interest in developing student research skills within a specific discipline. Assessment data (published in several studies - links coming soon!) demonstrate the high impace that the lab has on student research skills. The lab can be tailored to fit other disciplines and can also be shortened. The library seeks to implement similar components in other disciplines, so please chat with a librarian if you are interested in pursuing this option.

Another great option is to advise your students to take NDL 301: Information Fluency. The course, taught by Barbara Fister every spring semester, immerses students in the structure of the literature in their chosen field.

Other Strategies:

  • Bibliographic Trace - students enter the scholarly conversation by finding works cited by and citing a source
  • Assign students to meet with a librarian to discuss their research
  • Literature Review - students find and discuss the major scholarship in a given topic

Any of our librarians would be happy to discuss strategies and approaches in greater detail, whether you are planning a formal library session or not.

The library has links to additional resources, as well: