Sample Library Assignment Ideas
Below are some examples of assignments that incorporate library research.
A well-written library assignment is beneficial to not only the student who can then begin to
make connections with the role of the library in their education, but to you as well as you begin
to read and correct assignments that reflect meaningful, appropriate academic values.
The suggestions below are intended to give you ideas as you begin to create library assignments.
You will need to add the specifics that make the assignment relevant to your class.
- Prepare a bibliography of books , journals and web sites with evaluative annotations. Students
may be asked to prepare as a "required reading list " for the topics, in which case the annotation
would include an explanation of why a particular resource was included.
- Create a web site as a resource for the course. Included on the site might be discussion
groups, e-journals, meta sites, and organizations.
- Prepare a literature review on a particular topic for a specific time frame.
- Compare the results of searching the same precise topic on one or more Internet search engines
and a library subscription database(s).
- Research a controversial topic using a variety of sources. Discuss how the different types of
sources (e.g. newspapers, websites, news magazines, academic journals, academic discussion lists)
treat the topic.
- Compare a popular and a scholarly article on the same topic in terms of content, bias, style,
- Research a particular topic in the literature of the 1970s and 1980s. Research the same topic
in the literature of the 1990s and 2000s. Discuss the evolution of the field based on this
- Read an editorial and find facts to support or contradict.
- Prepare a nomination of a person or group for a particular Nobel Prize. In addition to
defending their nomination, students would be required to learn about the prize, criteria for the
- Research the publications and career of a prominent scholar. The assignment might require
biographical information, a bibliography of publications, and analysis of the individual in their
field of research.
- Research a classical work through reviews, citation indexes, biographical information, etc and
discuss the effect of the work on the discipline.
- Research a particular company, organization, research lab, etc as preparation for a
- Evaluate a relevant web site based on specific criteria, including accuracy, comprehensiveness,
authority, bias, ease of use, visual style. Students may be asked to compare a number of web sites
representing government, personal, commercial, and scholarly sites.
- Submit a research log with the assignment for which the research was undertaken.
- Submit a major research project at various stages (e.g. outline, bibliography, introduction).
If feedback is provided promptly, students can be redirected and advised as the project
Assignment ideas from
University of New Brunswick.
More specific assignment examples can be found on the following pages:
Library Assignments - University of South Carolina -
Sample Assignments - Arizona State University West -
Effective Library Assignments - University of California
Long Beach -
Creating Effective Library Assignments - Washington State