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Library - ursuline college
Suggestions for Effective Library Assignments

These tips will help us help your students locate and use appropriate sources for their research assignments:

  • Put your assignment in writing. By the time students reach the library, they often have different accounts about the assignment parameters.
  • Work through the assignment yourself, even if you're just revising an old assignment. Make sure that the assignment does what you want it to and that the library has the resources you're requiring students to use. Materials that are available and familiar to you will often be challenging for students to locate and interpret.
  • Check to see if the library has already created a research guide for your subject area. They may be in print or part of our Assignment Help Center. If we don't have a research guide prepared, talk to us about creating one.
  • Put materials on reserve if students have to use the same resource. (This is not necessary for reference books since they do not circulate.) Remember that we may need time to recall a book from circulation.
  • Schedule a course-related instructional session for your class. Our librarians will tailor it to your specific assignment.
  • Send a copy of your assignment to your liaison librarian for input. We can offer insight about assignment parameters that sometimes confuse or frustrate students.
  • Remind students to gather their sources early. OhioLINK is a treasure, but useless if students wait until the last day to look for materials.
  • Encourage students to stop by the Reference and Information Desk for assistance.
Regarding online resources:

We can help steer your students to the best of the web.
At the reference desk, we sometimes hear students say they aren't allowed to use Internet or Web sources. However, many high-quality sources can be found online, including scholarly articles and primary sources.

The Ralph M Besse Library subscribes to thousands of online journals, so you and your students will find most research articles in our online databases. You may need to stress the difference between the resources the library subscribes to and "free" Web and Internet sources, but a blanket prohibition against online research may be counterproductive for your pedagogical goals. Visit the Library Home page for access to our subscription resources.

Questions or Comments? Contact Kathy Fisher, Head of Patron Services and Instruction
Email: kfisher@ursuline.edu
Phone: (440) 449-4080