In this sequence of activities, students will learn how to identify scholarly sources using three pronged test: 1) Is the source written by a researcher or academic 2) Is the source published in a scholarly book or peer reviewed journal, and 3) Does the source have an extensive bibliography. They will then be asked to find one scholarly book and one scholarly article on a general topic.

Learning Activities

Scholarly source pre-test

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This set of assignments is designed to help students: (a) grow initial thoughts and questions into carefully scoped and well-reasoned research papers, and (b) develop critical thinking skills through interrogation of familiar images of religion and spirituality in American popular culture.

Discipline: Theology
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The following activity is meant to assist learning the concepts of strategic search. It introduces the idea that sources contribute different perspectives to an argument and that scholarship is a conversation. It can be used for any discipline but is particularly well suited to introductory writing courses.

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This assignment asks students to map scholarly citations in order to illustrate the concept that scholarship is a conversation. Secondarily, the activity is meant to demonstrate the constructed and contextual nature of authority in academic discourse. It can be used to help students build up to completing an annotated bibliography, research paper, or presentation that requires scholarly sources.

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This assignment is designed to help students develop a thoughtful research topic. Students go through a series of steps, questions, and background reading to help them better understand and refine a research topic.

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A 10-minute presentation accompanied by a 20-page research paper. The presentation features highlights from your extensive research on a career field, including a profile of a specific company or organization and an interview with a practicing professional.

Tags: career
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Author: Elisa Acosta

Students interview their professor(s) and ask them to describe how they do research, how research gets disseminated in their discipline, etc. Each student can ask one question below. This assignment is a great “first day of class” activity for a First Year Seminar. Novice researchers are introduced to scholarly discourse and discipline-specific approaches to producing knowledge by experts.

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This assignment is meant to illustrate the differences between scholarly and popular information sources by presenting students with information on the topic of "fracking" from four different resources: a scholarly article, a magazine, a newspaper and a website. It introduces the idea that information can be presented in different formats depending on the context and information need.

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The following activity is meant to demonstrate the concepts of authorship and authority to your students. It introduces the idea that context can influence the tone and writing style of a faculty member or scholar and also introduces the concept of the scholarly conversation. It can be used for any discipline.

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This assignment asks students to compare and contrast a Wikipedia article and an article from a subject specific Encyclopedia owned by the library. It asks the students to evaluate each resource by assessing its Relevance, Authority, Date, Accuracy and Rationale. Evaluation using these five criteria is known as the RADAR framework. Although the wikipedia article in this assignment is from biology, it can be switched out for any discipline.

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