Instructor Resources

Research Top Five

Assignment Ideas

  • Create a short annotated bibliography on a topic
  • Find an article in American Psychologist and evaluate it.
  • Find a book on a topic and evaluate it.
  • Create a citation for a specific article.
  • Create a short bibliography on a topic.
  • Fact check a Wikipedia article. Not only does this assignment require research, it also teaches important lessons about the quality of information found online.
  • Create a grant proposal for a project in your discipline. A good proposal will include a literature review, justification, budget, impact, etc.
  • Create a research guide on a topic for other students that includes books, articles, and quality websites.
  • Nominate someone or a group for a Nobel Prize (choose the prize most appropriate for your class) and justify the nomination.
  • Create a problem scenario for your class; this could be a disease to diagnose for a health class, an engineering problem, or a case study. Students would need to justify their solutions with actual data and research.

Assignments Using Archives

  • Using the student newspaper archive, have students trace the development of how Utah Valley University has addressed challenges such as parking, student diversity, engaged learning, tuition, and others. 
  • Have students select an artifact from the Sutherland Archives and research its history and meaning. Our collection currently holds opium boxes, samurai swords, and a jade club. 
  • Have students select an image from our photograph collections as a starting point for a research project on local, technological, or social history.
  • Ask students to analyze the advertisements in the newspaper collections. How do they reflect changes in advertising, gender politics, or popular culture?
  • Using our oral history collections as a model, have students create their own oral histories of fellow students, friends, or family. The theme and subject possibilities are endless.
  • Using materials from our nineteenth century materials (letters, photos, diaries, maps, and so on), have students create short documentaries about Utah's pioneer period. 

Discussion Questions

  • When do you know you have trustworthy information?
  • What makes a good research question?
  • Evaluate a journal to determine its scholarly value.
  • What are some common problems with citation?
  • What are some things you would look for when evaluating a source?
  • Why are citations important?
  • Why is it important to use scholarly sources? Why can't I just use Google or Wikipedia?
  • Why use library databases and not just Google?

In-Class Activities