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Scaffolding a Research Project

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Benefits of Benchmarks

  • demystify the research process
  • ensure viability/appropriateness of topic before it's too late
  • reduce procrastination
  • reduce likelihood of plagiarism

Potential Benchmarks

  • topic conferences (one-on-one or during class)
  • written topic proposals
  • thesis statement
  • preliminary bibliography and/or annotated bibliography
  • outline/introductory paragraphs
  • mid-point check-up
  • draft workshops with peers

Collaborate with Librarians

  • consult a librarian during your planning process
  • invite a librarian to meet with your class (in our classroom or yours) for a:
    • full or partial class period
    • hands-on searching session in a lab
    • focused presentation on a specific resource or topic
    • lecture/demonstration

Encourage Students to Use Research Services

  • drop by the research desk
  • schedule a research appointment
  • use other learning support services
    • e.g. Writing Center, Digital Arts Mentors, CLEAR Quantitative Skills Center

Encourage Students to Reflect on the Research Process

Points to consider:

  • databases searched/sources consulted
  • keywords and search strategies used
  • dead-ends and successes
  • evolution of/changes in topic

Options for reporting:

  • build-in with benchmark(s)
  • discuss in class
  • post on BlackBoard, blog, etc.
  • document in a research log


Last updated:
September 18, 2013