Edu 101 Assignment 2016

First-Day Assignments

The following assignments have been submitted by professors. Please check back if your assignments are not listed as faculty members are continuosly updating this list.


Spring 2017 Semester Courses and Assignments

6106 - Law 2 (Kelly)

Enroll in the TWEN course: LAWII-Kelly (Spring 2017)

Download and read (1) the course syllabus and (2) "Writing Demand Letters" (available on Jan 1). Hard copies of the syllabus and the reading are available outside my office (Rm 308).

Read chapters 1, 2, 3 from An Advocate Persuades (you may skim chs 2, 3).

I will post class powerpoints on TWEN before class.

6106 - Law 2 (Smith)


6106 - Law 2 (Starker)

Point Made page xxix through page 11.

6106 - Law 2 (Starker)

Point Made page xxix through page 11.

6106 - Law 2 (Lee)

Welcome to LAW 2! As you already know, the TWEN site for this course will go "live" on New Year's Day. Please register for the TWEN course site anytime between New Year's Day and January 10 (password: persuade). A Questionnaire in Word format will be posted on the TWEN course site in the Assignment Drop Box (as well as under Course Materials). Please fill out the Questionnaire pursuant to the instructions on it. Please submit the completed Questionnaire via the TWEN Assignment Drop Box by 8 p.m. on Wednesday, January 11. Thank you very much, and I look forward to our first day of class on January 13!

6106 - Law 2 (Beazley)

Read chapters 1 & 22 in Legal Writing for Legal Readers.

6106 - Law 2 (Ralph)

Welcome to LAW II!

To prepare for the first day of class, you should find the course website on TWEN, review the syllabus posted there, and complete the reading assigned for the first day.

In addition, identify the best (I leave it up to you how to define “best”) piece of journalism you have encountered in the last month or so. This could be a podcast, TV news story, radio news story, or long-form journalism in a magazine, in a newspaper, or on the internet. If you can’t recall any pieces that made an impression on you, then you might take a look at the websites for the Atlantic, NPR, the New York Times, the New Yorker, or the Washington Post; you could also check out and In class, I will ask you to explain a bit about the piece and why you found it so good/interesting, so you should be prepared on those topics.

See you in class!

6106 - Law 2 (Sherowski)

Welcome to LAW II! Here's what you need to do before class on Jan 13:

1. Register for the class TWEN site.

2. Read the syllabus (on TWEN). There might be a quiz. Or not. But why take the chance?

3. Upload a clean copy (ungraded) of your final memo from LAW I to the Assignment Dropbox by 5pm Wednesday, Jan. 11. Relax, it won't be graded!

4. Read "Statement of Alabama Clergy" and "Letter from Birmingham Jail" (available in the WebLinks section of TWEN). Bring a hard or electronic copy of "Letter from Birmingham Jail" to class.

4. Listen to the Prologue and Act I of This American Life: Poultry Slam (available in the WebLinks section of TWEN) and be prepared to discuss.

5. Enjoy the rest of your break!

6106 - Law 2 (Berman)

In preparation for our first class on Friday, January 15, you should:

• Pick up a copy of the course description and the (tentative) schedule/syllabus (available from outside my office, Room 313).

• Reflect on whether and when you think a person's family obligations should impact how he is sentenced for a nonviolent economic crime.

• Consider what you think an experienced defense attorney should charge a client to help him seek a reduced sentence for a nonviolent economic crime.

• Decide what is your all-time-favorite law-related movie.

6106 - Law 2 (Huefner)

For our first class, read/reread/review chapters 2 and 28 of The Complete Legal Writer.

In addition, I invite you to come prepared to discuss: (a) what has most surprised you about the legal writing you have produced or studied so far this year, and (b) what have been the most difficult aspects of your own legal writing projects so far.

See you Monday Jan. 9 at 9:10 a.m.!

6112 - Property (Hirsch)

In the Dukeminier, Krier et al. casebook, please read pp. 18-26. You should come to the first class prepared to discuss the case and the questions raised in the notes.

6112 - Property (Parasidis)

 All readings refer to the Singer casebook.

Jan 10: skim xxxi-xlvi; read 3-20

Jan 12: read 21-38 (skip problems on 29-30)

Jan 13: read 40-61 (be prepared to discuss all problems)





6118 - Constitutional Law (Colker)

 Students should register for TWEN sometime after December 19, 2016.  The syllabus will be available on TWEN.  For the first class, students should skim CB pages 1-71 and look at appendices 1 & 2.  Powerpoint slides will be posted on TWEN in advance of each class.

6118 - Constitutional Law (Foley)

Please access the Carmen website for this course.  There you will find a copy of the syllabus with an initial list of assignments, including one for our first class.  Please read the syllabus and complete this first assignment.  I look forward to meeting you and to our semester together.  Happy New Year!

6118 - Constitutional Law (Spindelman)

Happy New Year, and Welcome to Constitutional Law! A couple items before we meet. 1. Please obtain a copy of CHOPER, ET AL., CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: CASES—COMMENTS—QUESTIONS (12th ed. 2015), and the 2016 SUPPLEMENT. These will be our main texts for the course. 2. Please pick up a pocket U.S. Constitution from Ms. Allyson Hennelly in Room 326 of Drinko Hall. While you can find the text of the U.S. Constitution in the casebook, this version may be easier as a handy reference, including for the first day’s assignment. 3. Please sign up on the TWEN site for the course. 4. The first day assignment: Please read the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, and then answer the questions on the first handout, found on TWEN (it’s called “Handout No. 1: Questions on the C’n”). Look forward to seeing you soon! -M.S.

6121 - Contracts 1 (Helal)

Introduction to Contract Law: Classes 1 & 2: Wednesday, 11 January & Thursday, 12 January Please read KCP, Pages: 1 – 17 See syllabus for additional information.

6121 - Contracts 1 (Garvin)

Welcome back! For the first day of class, please do the following: 1. Join the course TWEN site. 2. Join the course Top Hat page (the join code is 191854). 3. By mid-day Sunday, go to the TWEN site, click on Forums, and locate the options "Enforceable Promises" and "Unenforceable Promises." Under the former, submit one promise or type of promise that you think the law should enforce. Under the latter, submit one promise or type of promise that you think the law should not enforce (even though you may think that the promise should be kept). 4. For the first class, please prepare pages 1-4 and 8-9 of the casebook, pages 4-5 of the course supplement, and pages 7-9 of the Kim book. You should skim pages 1-3 of the course supplement and pages 10-19 of the Kim book, but we will not discuss them in class. 5. That assignment will take us through part of the second class. Our next assignment, which will take us two or three days, is pages 9-10, 14-24, and 27-31 of the casebook and pages 6-15 of the course supplement. Note: The course supplement is being photocopied and should be available by Monday, if not sooner. In the meantime, I have posted it on TWEN under "Course Materials." Should the supplement be available before Monday, I will send you an e-mail to that effect.

6124 - Legislation (Shane)

For our first class, please read the syllabus, pp. 101-127 of the Manning and Stephenson text, and the handout called, “Introduction to Legislative Procedure: Issues for the 115th Congress.”

6124 - Legislation (Rudesill)

For the first day of class, read the U.S. Constitution and especially Articles I and II. Also, spend 30 minutes of self-directed research on the websites of the U.S. Congress (,,, and the website of the state legislature where you live now or call home. Identify the Senators and Representatives who represent the place(s) you call home. Also, read Dakota S. Rudesill, Christopher J. Walker, & Daniel Tokaji, A Program in Legislation, 65 J. LEGAL ED. 70 (2015),; and W. Jefferson v. Cammelleri, 2015-Ohio-2463, (the camper case). We will do an in-class exercise on the camper case, and also talk about the virtues and vices of seeking solutions to problems of law and policy through legislation. We will discuss how to study legislation, and course logistics. Finally, during our introduction we will do a “Congress 101” (Legislation, Legislators, and Legislative Process Overview) overview of the nation’s legislature, its authorities, and its processes.

6124 - Legislation (Huefner)

Our casebook is ESKRIDGE, FRICKEY, GARRETT, AND BRUDNEY, LEGISLATION AND REGULATION: STATUTES AND THE CREATION OF PUBLIC POLICY (5TH ED. 2014) (“EFGB”). We will also read materials from its 2016 Supplement (“Supp.”), and from a separate accompanying volume called the “Document Supplement” (“DS”). Be careful not to confuse these two supplements with each other.

The assignment for our first class consists of three parts:

1.         read (carefully) EFGB pp. 1-21;

2.         skim (carefully) DS pp. 1-20;

3.         determine, as best you can in no more than 30 minutes, (a) when and how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) became law, (b) what its key features are, (c) what the primary legal changes to it have been, and (d) how the current Congress plans to repeal or undo it.

I look forward to seeing and meeting you all next Thursday.

7006 - Advanced Legal Writing (Beazley)

Please read chs. 1 & 3 in Beyond the Basics. In the Style book, read the preface, Lessons 1-3, and Appendix I. You do NOT need to complete any exercises you encounter, but you should review them.

7009 - ALR: Litigation and ADR (Gatz)

Please log into Carmen ( in order to access our course page. The course page contains instructions on readings and pre-work for our first class meeting.

7009 - ALR: Foreign and Comparative (Cooper)

Welcome to the course! For the first day, please do the following:

  • Complete the pre-course questionnaire found on our Carmen course site ( under the category "Quizzes." The course is listed as SP17 LAW 7009 - Adv Legal Research (1199).
  • Review the syllabus, also found on our Carmen course site.
  • Review the Moritz Law Library's foreign and international legal research guide located within the list of library research guides accessible from the Moritz Law Library main page. Focus particularly on the general research strategy sections within the Researching Foreign Law and Researching International Law tabs.
  • Review the narrated set of slides on terminology and general research strategy on the Carmen course site in the "Modules" category.

See everyone on Tuesday at 10:10 in Room 349.


7106 - Legal Negotiations and Settlements (Lee)

 Welcome to Legal Negotiations and Settlements! 

1. By the first day of class, if you have not already, please read "Getting to Yes" by Fisher, Ury & Patton. If you have already read it, please be sure to re-review the book to refresh yourself. 

2. The TWEN site for this course will go "live" on January 1, 2017. Please register for this course on TWEN at your convenience by January 4 (password: listen).

3. Information and instructions for our first simulation of the semester will be posted on TWEN by January 5. Please check the site for instructions and come to class prepared to participate in our first simulation.

I look forward to our first day of class and an exciting semester together! Thank you everyone!

7200 - Business Associations (Verdun)

First Assignment Jan 10-11 Chapter 1 The Law of Agency

7212 - Banking Law (Anstaett)

In LISSA L. BROOME AND JERRY W. MARKHAM, REGULATION OF BANK FINANCIAL SERVICE ACTIVITIES 4th edition please read the following: The Business of Banking, pp. 132-142, 147-150, 169-173 History of Banking Regulation, pp. 22-25, 30-40, 42-44

7215 - Securities Regulation (Rose)

 Please read Chapter 1.  The syllabus and slides for each class will be available on Carmen.

7312 - Debtor & Creditor (Johnson)

For the first week of class, we will cover Ch. 1. Please read pp. 1-36 and do Problems 1.1 – 1.12. Thanks

7403 - White Collar Crime (Squires)

For class 1, read pages 1-6; 89-106 in the textbook.

7406 - Criminal Procedure: Investigation (Dressler)

1. Before the first class, all students must register for the class on The West Educational Network (TWEN). 2. When you register, you will find that I have three documents for immediate downloading: the syllabus for the entire semester; a “Class Information Sheet” that provides important information about the class, including information about the exam, and the dates for one class cancellation and one class makeup; and the “Fourth Amendment Checklist”. 3. For the first class, please read pp. 1-4, and pp. 95-104 of the assigned casebook. The case assigned for today’s class is one of the two or three most important cases we will cover all semester, so please read it with care. 4. See other important information about the first class, on TWEN, in the “Important Announcements” section. Thanks!

7600 - Children & the Law (Federle)

Welcome to Children and the Law! For class on January 9, please read pp. 1-34 in the casebook and be prepared to discuss. For class on January 11, please read pp. 35-63 in the casebook and be prepared to discuss.

7603 - Family Law (Federle)

Welcome to Family Law! For class on Monday, January 9, please read pp. 501-531 in the casebook and be prepared to discuss. For class on Wednesday, January 11, please read pp. 531-547 in the casebook and be prepared to discuss.

7700 - Human Rights (Quigley)

For the first day, please read pp. 90-99 in the casebook (Philip Alston & Ryan Goodman, International Human Rights: The Successor to International Human Rights in Context, 2013)

7812 - Patent Prosecution (Mescher)


7815 - Intro to Intellectual Property (Kaminski)

William Fisher, Theories of Intellectual Property, pp 1-13. Available at
Case book Introduction, pp 1-6 (up to but not including “C. An Example of Intellectual Property Protection: Misappropriation”)

8100 - Employment Law (Hébert)

Assignments: Jan 9: Casebook xxv-xxxviii; 3-16; Update 1 Jan. 10: CB 16-49; Update 1-3 Jan. 11: CB 49-65; Update 3 Jan. 12: CB 69-83; Update 3

8106 - Employee Benefits (Hébert)

Syllabus and supplemental materials available on TWEN. Jan. 9 Casebook 1-29; ERISA sec. 2 Jan. 10 CB 31-45; ERISA secs. 3, 4 Jan. 11 CB 45-54; ERISA sec. 3

8109 - Employment Discrimination Law (Chamallas)

For the first day of class, please read pp.3-9 and pp.43-52 in the Ontiveros casebook.

8189.01 - Criminal Defense Clinic (Merritt/McCaughan)

Please sign up for the course (Criminal Defense Clinic Winter/Spring 2017) on TWEN. On the TWEN site you will find the assignment for the first class (under Syllabus).

Before the first class you should pick up a copy of the Clinic Handbook from the clnic suite. The book will be in your mailbox (located behind the clinic reception desk). If you can't find your mailbox or copy of the handbook, please check with Lynda Seelie at the desk.

You should also purchase a copy of the Clinic Rulebook from the Moritz Registrar.That book may not be available until after January 9, but you won't need it for the first class.

If you will not be at the law school until January 9, you will find all readings for the first class on appropriate portions of the TWEN site. I.e., all portions of the Clinic Handbook are available in the "Clinic Handbook" section of the site, and the rules from the Rulebook are available under "Clinic Rulebook." Happy new year and see you on January 9!

8189.05 - Legislation Clinic (Enns/Rudesill)

Welcome to the Legislation Clinic1 We look forward to meeting each of you. For the first class on Monday, Jan. 9 at 3:55 pm in Room 455, please read the materials in Sec. 1 of the Procedures Manual, available from the Registrar.

8189.07 - Mediation Clinic (Deason/)

Welcome to the Mediation Clinic and Seminar! The reading assignment for the first day of class is on negotiation basics for mediators. A handout has been sent to you as an e-mail attachment and a hard copy is available outside my office, room 323.

8200 - Evidence (3 credits) (Simmons)

For the first day, please read the Foreword, Study Guide, and Chapters 1 and 3 in the casebook.


Also, please sign up for the class TWEN site at "Evidence: Spring 2017--Simmons (3 credits)."  A copy of the syllabus is posted there, and I will use the TWEN site to communicate with students.

8200 - Evidence (Simmons)

For the first day, please read the Foreword, Study Guide, and Chapters 1 and 3 in the casebook.

Also, please sign up for the class TWEN site at "Evidence: Spring 2017--Simmons (4 credits)."  A copy of the syllabus is posted there, and I will use the TWEN site to communicate with students.

8203 - Civil Procedure 2 (Wilson)

Assignment for Monday, Jan. 9, 2017: Yeazell Casebook: Pages 367-386. You are also responsible for studying all rules and federal statutes cited in the Yeazell casebook that are in the Rules Supplement. In addition, please register for this course on TWEN. The Tentative Syllabus will be posted on TWEN. Please email me at if you have any questions or concerns about this course. I am really looking forward to teaching Civ Pro II, and doing all that I can to help you become a great lawyer!

8206 - Conflict Of Laws (Caust-Ellenbogen)

For the first class, read pp. xxvii-xxvix and 1-14 in Brilmayer et al. Future assignments are listed in the syllabus.

8209 - Federal Courts (Tokaji)

For our first class on Tuesday, January 10, please read the opinion in Boumediene v. Bush, which appears at CB 998-1016 of your casebook, Low, Jeffries & Bradley Federal Courts and the Law of Federal-State Relations (8th ed. 2014)("CB"). What is habeas corpus? Why did the Court conclude that the petitioners were entitled to pursue this remedy? Please don't get too caught up in the technical complexities of Boumediene. For now, we'll focus on the big-picture questions concerning the relationship of the federal courts to the political branches (and we'll come back to this case later in the semester).

8212 - Pretrial Litigation (Ralph)

 Welcome to Pretrial Litigation! To prepare for the first day of class, you should find the course website on TWEN, review the syllabus posted there, and complete the reading assignment for the first day. See you in class!

8311 - Climate Change Law (Carlarne)

Welcome to Climate Change Law! For our first day of class, please read Chapter 1 of the text: International Climate Change Law: Mapping the Field.

8315 - Education Law (Wilson)

Assignment for Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017: Derek Black, Education Law Casebook (2nd ed. 2016): Pages 1-16. In addition, please register for this course on TWEN. The Tentative Syllabus will be posted on TWEN. Please email me at if you have any questions or concerns about this course. See you in on Tuesday.

8406 - Professional Responsibility (Ball)

In the casebook, read:

Chapter I. The Legal Profession: Background and Fundamental Issues (pp. 1-19)

8406 - Professional Responsibility (Coughlan/Caligiuri)


8600 - Real Estate Finance (Weiler)

For the first class, peruse the textbook and supplement, read pages 275-303 in the supplement, and review the case Mark v. Long. Also, access the Carmen site for this course (available no later than Jan. 1), which will be used for posting course materials throughout the semester.

8700 - Federal Income Tax (Hoffer)

Happy New Year!  Please read pages 1 - 18 of your text for our first class on Monday.  In addition, please register for our TWEN page using the email address at which you would like to be contacted with additional information about our course.

8709 - Wills Trusts & Estates (Johnson)

Register on the TWEN page for this course on or after December 19, 2016. You will find the syllabus and the reading assignments for the first 2 weeks on TWEN. I hope you have an enjoyable break and I look forward to seeing you in January.

8809 - Health Law (Parasidis)

 The first-day assignment was emailed to the class on Tuesday, January 3, 2017. If you did not receive the email, contact Professor Parasidis at:

8818 - Sports Law (Kirstein)

Assignment: Chapter 1: Moral Integrity of the Sport; The Role of the Commissioner and the Law - Preserving Integrity of the Game. Read Preface pp. v-vi and Pages 1-31 Legal Scope of Commissioner's Authority over Conduct Detrimental to the Game. Cases: Rose (1989), Johnson (1919), Landis (1931), Finley (1978), Braves (1977), Cubs (1992), and Dodgers (2011).

8896.11 - Sem: State Constitutional Law (Sutton)

JANUARY 23: Introduction; Principles of Federalism Reading: Introduction to casebook; Chapter 2 (pp. 7-32).

8896.11 - Sem: Issues in Arbitration (Cole)

Please read pp. 1-6 and 64-80 BEFORE the first class.

8896.13 - Sem: Tax Policy (Hoffer)

Happy New Year!  Please do these three things:

(1) Register for our TWEN page using the email address at which you would like me to contact you with course information.

(2) Read How America Pays Taxes-- in 10 Not-Entirely-Depressing Charts by Derek Thompson, available here:

(3) On the basis of your reading, prepare to discuss these questions with your classmates:

  (a) What about these statistics differed from what you previously believed?

  (b) How might you explain those differences?

  (c) On the basis of your reading, how to you think the federal tax law currently helps or disadvantages people at low, middle, or high levels of income or wealth?

  (d) On the basis of what you've seen in the article, what broad recommendations might you have for legislative or regulatory changes moving forward?  Why are you making those recommendations?

8896.24 - Sem: Constitutional Interpretations (Spindelman)

Happy New Year! Welcome to Advanced Constitutional Law. Please sign up on the TWEN site for the course. For our first meeting, please read (in this order, available on TWEN): (1) Brown v. Board of Education (1954), (2) Bolling v. Sharpe, and (3) Brown v. Board of Education (1955). Look forward to seeing you soon! -M.S.

8896.38 - Sem: Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform (Berman)

In preparation for our first class on Thursday, Jan 12, you should:

1. Bookmark the blog Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform, which appears at

2. Pick up a copy of the Course Description and the Pre-Class Questionnaire (available from outside my office, Room 313). Complete the questionnaire.

3. Consider keeping clear the period from 1:30pm to 3:30pm on Fridays January 13, 20 and 27 for (optional) movie-watching class sessions to view the PBS documentary "Prohibition" and then to celebrate the 21st Amendment at a local establishment.

8896.45 - Sem: The Business of Law (Lee)

 Welcome to the Business of Law Seminar! During the first several weeks of class, we will work towards our "Pitch Day" in late February. The TWEN course site will go live on New Year's Day. Before our first day of class, please do the following:

1.  Please register for the TWEN site at your convenience anytime between New Year's Day and January 4 (password: transform).

2.  Please do the first-day assignment. The assignment will be posted on the TWEN site by January 5. Website links and readings for the first-day assignment will also be posted on the TWEN site by that date.

The course syllabus and class calendar of guest appearances will be distributed on the first day of class. Thank you, and I look forward to our first day of class on January 10! 

8896.47 - Sem: War Crimes (Fernandez)

Weekly reading assignments are clearly marked in the copied course materials available for purchase in the registrar's office. Please read the assignment for Week 1 before the first day of class. In addition, there is a short introductory essay due on Jan. 11th, via TWEN. Please join the course's TWEN page to see the details and to submit the essay. The syllabus is also available on the TWEN page.

8896.50 - Sem: Gender and the Law (Chamallas)

For our first class meeting (Jan.11), please read pp. 1-49 in Chamallas, Introduction to Feminist Legal Theory and pp. 168-184 in Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the U.S. Supreme Court (commentary and opinion for Frontiero v. Richardson).

Ideas for Assigments

The following has been adapted from Clark College Libraries.
Click to see assignments from humanities and art, social sciences, sciences, information literacy, career, or miscellaneous.


Culture Shifts
This one uses the New York Times Historical database. Have students select a topic or an issue and examine it across time by locating articles in the New York Times for this year, 25, 50, 75, and/or 100 years ago. In addition to gaining an understanding of the shifts in language (and the need to brainstorm keywords) students can study the different approaches to the issue and the ways in the issue reflect the values and assumptions of the time. This exercise can be expanded by having students expand their knowledge of the different time periods with chronologies and other reference books.

Document an Editorial
Have students examine an editorial and discuss what evidence would need to be provided to turn it into an academic argument for a scholarly audience. Have the class locate and analyze evidence and write a response to the editorial based on their new knowledge.  (

Have students choose any issue that has been the subject of protest or propaganda at any time in the past 500 years in any part of the world. Then write a paper detailing the issues of the protest/propaganda, putting the issues in the context of some sort of text or object. The text/object can be a film; a literary or musical work; a poster; a pamphlet; a sculpture or painting; a building; a symbolic act; or a historical moment. The overarching questions to address in the paper are: What historical forces -- technological, political, cultural -- brought this protested issue or point of propaganda to a critical point at the moment you are looking at? What are the specific arguments being raised in the protest or propaganda? How does your object/text embody these historical forces and detailed arguments? (World Civilizations Prehistory to 1500 assignment, University of Buffalo)

Musical Review
Write a review of a musical performance. Include reference not only to the performance attended, but to reviews of the composition's premiere, if possible. Place the composition in a historical context using timetables, general histories and memoirs when available, using this information to gain insight into its current presentation. (From



Fact Finder
Students find information about events transpiring during the week/year of their parent’s/grandparent’s birth. Information categories can include any or all of the following: sports, politics, fashion, science/technology, arts. They need to use the New York Times Historical database and a subject reference book (American Eras series, Eyewitness History series, All American Ads, Timetables of American History, Timetables of History, etc.) Prior to the assignment, students are shown how to use the various types of resources that they will be using, along with an explanation of the difficulties of Students are provided one week to complete the assignment. (Adapted from LOEX* of the West 2004)

Snapshot of a Year
Have the class develop a snapshot of a year that is significant for your course. Starting with a chronology (such as Timetables of History) have groups report on politics, the arts, science and technology, or whatever categories make sense for your course. Resources include New York Times Historical database American Eras series, Eyewitness History series, All American Ads, Timetables of American History, Timetables of History, etc. (From

Significant Event
Identify a significant event or publication in your discipline. Have students ascertain the important people, impact, etc., involved by consulting a variety of library resources. Probably a good idea to keep the event/publication broad: The lunar landing, discovery of penicillin, Silent Spring, the rock opera Hair, the advent of the assembly line, etc. Suggested library resources will depend on the event, but lends itself neatly to reference tools. (Adapted from Term Paper Alternatives, University of California, Berkely)

Liberal and Conservative
Contrast two journal articles or editorials from recent publications reflecting conservative and liberal tendencies. (Consult Cannell Library’s handout, “A Selective List of Liberal and Conservative Periodicals.”) It might be interesting to carry out this exercise again using publications from the late 1960s. (Adapted from Term Paper Alternatives, University of California, Berkely)

Follow the Trail
Students follow a piece of legislation through Congress. This exercise is designed primarily to help students understand the process of government. It could, however, be used in something like a 'critical issues' course to follow the politics of a particular issue. (What groups are lobbying for or against a piece of legislation? How does campaign financing affect the final decision? etc.) (From

Follow the Policy
Have students follow a particular foreign policy situation as it develops. Who are the organizations involved? What is the history of the issue? What are the ideological conflicts? (From

Queen for a Day
Everyone becomes an historical figure for a day. Students research the person, time-period, culture, etc. They give an oral presentation in class and answer questions. (From 

Similar to the above, students adopt a persona and write letters or journal entries that person might have written. The level of research required to complete the assignment can range from minimal to a depth appropriate for advanced classes. (From

All the News
Write a newspaper story describing an event -- political, social, cultural, whatever suits the objectives -- based on their research. The assignment can be limited to one or two articles, or it can be more extensive. This is a good exercise in critical reading and in summarizing. The assignment gains interest if several people research the same event in different sources and compare the newspaper stories that result. (From

Press Room
News conferences offer good opportunities to add depth to research and thus might work particularly well with advanced students. A verbatim transcript of an analytical description of a news conference can serve as a format for simulated interviews with well known people of any period. What questions would contemporaries have asked? What questions would we now, with hindsight, want to ask? How would contemporary answers have differed from those that might be given today? Here students have an opportunity to take a rigorous, analytical approach, both in terms of the questions to be asked and the information contained in the answers. (From

Students are to obtain an interesting empirical article on a topic of their choice from a published APA (American Psychological Association) journal. PsycInfo is an excellent source. An empirical article reports the results of a study, not a review of several studies or someone's opinion. Students are to read the article then prepare a 1- to 2-page commentary on the article in their own words. (Psychology 101 assignment, adapted from the University of Buffalo)

Ancient Cities
Have students choose one ancient city from a list prepared by the instructor. Students research aspects such as: * Geographic features, size of the city, occupations ancient inhabitants (substinance farming, hunting and gathering, trade, etc.), religion/religious beliefs, significant folklore, and/or legend, secular/civil authority, governance system, artistic legacy, etc. Students must summarize the importance of the city and civilization in a ten-page research paper, using at least five sources. (Psychology 101 assignment from the University of Buffalo)


Mini-research Proposals or Projects
Have the students work on designing a research study on a topic from the class. In some situations, you may be able to have them collect data during class time (observe some situation or give out some short surveys) or you may have them doing this as part of an outside-of-class project. Either way, have students present their research in a class research symposium similar to what we do at professional meetings. Invite other faculty and students. 

Web Site Evaluation
Students select a web site and evaluate it using a checklist, such as the W5 for W3 web site evaluation and checklist. As a variation, have students locate three websites on the same topic, and after completing the worksheet, have them write a short paper describing each site and ranking them in order of quality.

Diagnosis It!
In biology or health classes, assign each student a 'diagnosis' (can range from jock itch to Parkinson's Disease). Have them act as responsible patients by investigating both the diagnosis and the prescribed treatment. Results presented in a two-page paper should cover: a description of the condition and its symptoms; its etiology; its prognosis; the effectiveness of the prescribed treatment, its side effects and contradictions, along with the evidence; and, finally, a comparison of the relative effectiveness of alternate treatments. This assignment can also be accompanied by oral or visual presentations, slideshow, poster session,etc. (From

Poster Session
Students research a topic and present it as a poster which other students will use to learn about the topic. Provides the opportunity to conduct a search and forces the students to express the important points succinctly. (Adapted from University of Buffalo)

Journals in a Discipline
Assignment: How many journals are published in a given field? Identify [with professor's help] journals "basic" to the discipline. Compare and contrast them. Analyse their content, tone, audience and impact. Purpose: Emphasizes the importance of journal literature. Makes the point that journals differ in approach and perspective. (From University of Buffalo)


Popular and Scholarly
Provide students with a popular and a scholarly article on the same topic. (Or, alternatively, have students locate two articles on their own.) Students will use a prepared checklist to analyze the two types of publications and learn the distinguishing characteristics.

Popular and Primary
Students will find a short article in the popular press and locate the original research article [primary source] on which the popular article was based. Students will analyze the relationship between the popular article and original research, and critique the popular article with regard to its accuracy.

Update the Literature
Ask students to update a literature review done about five years ago on a topic in the discipline. They will have to utilize printed and electronic resources to identify pertinent information.

Update a Web Directory
Students will select a topic directory from the Cannell Library web site. Students will look at each of the recommended sites, then locate five more sites on the same topic that they determine should be added. For each site they recommend, students will complete a web page evaluation worksheet and write a short evaluation. Alternatively, students can locate their own directory to update, rather than using one from the library’s page.

Analyze Information Sources
Have students locate three sources—one an article published in a popular magazine, one an article in a refereed scholarly journal, one a web site—and have them analyze the sources in terms of language used, evidence presented for claims, qualifications of the author, and purpose. (From

Secondary Source Comparison
Provide the class with primary sources that recount an event that is open to more than one interpretation. Then have students locate and critique secondary source explanations of that event. Have students examine differences in secondary sources and relate these to their own interpretation of the available evidence. (Students are often surprised to find secondary sources tell the same story differently.) (From

Annotated Bibliography
Prepare an annotated bibliography of books, journal articles, and other sources on a topic. Include evaluative annotations (From

  • Produce the annotated bibliography in the form of a web page.
  • Have students work in groups to compile a large annotated bibliography and present/defend their selections to the class.

Birthday Exercise
Locate primary sources on/or near the date of your birth. You may use one type of material only once, i.e., one newspaper headline of a major event, one quotation, one biography, one census figure, one top musical number, one campus event, etc. Use a minimum of six different sources. Write a short annotation of each source and include the complete bibliographic citation. (From

Internet & Search Engines
Choose a topic of interest and search it on the Internet. Cross reference several search engines. Select and evaluate x number of web sites; select a specified number to include on an annotated bibliography. As with a research paper, students will have to narrow and broaden accordingly. Students summarize the experience by describing the experiences in different search engines, overall coverage of the topic, best keywords, etc. (Adapted from

All But the Research Paper
Conduct the research for a term paper. Do everything except write it. Students submit a clearly defined topic, an annotated bibliography of useful sources, an outline of a paper, a thesis statement, and an opening paragraph and summary. (From:

Internet Search
Write a precise statement of the search topic and the keywords chosen for the topic. Run the search on two or more different search engines. List the steps taken to find the needed information. Evaluate the results from the two searches using particular criteria presented by the librarian. Purpose: Teaches the mechanics of Internet searching, the importance of evaluating all sources retrieved from the Internet, the importance of preparing a search before going online, and the value in using more than one source for an information search. (From:

Database Search
Prepare the search by selecting keywords or thesaurus terms, when available. Conduct a search in a pre-selected database (or have the students pick the most appropriate one). Find a specified number of references and write a short explanation on why the particular reference is relevant to the search topic. Purpose: Shows the importance of advance preparation of the search and teaches how to use a particular database. Challenges students to find relevant sources and justify their selections.(From:

Comparing Print and Web Resources
Locate and examine a print source and a web site on the same topic to determine indicators of quality in each item; where exactly they found those indicators; and the appropriate use for each item. Purpose: Students will learn that the Web has not replaced print resources but rather the Web should be used as a complement to them. (From:

Research Log
Students keep a record of library research: methodology, sources consulted, keywords or headings searched, noting both successes and failures. Instructor can provide a sample entry to guide students in the structure. Provides a good introduction to how information is organized in libraries. Encourages students to think about the choices they must make as researchers. Focuses on the importance of terminology. A good follow up would be a class discussion with a librarian about search techniques (Adapted from

Reference Sources
Assignment: What is a reference source? When might you use one? Identify the major types (with examples of each type) of reference sources in the discipline. Cannell Librarians have a couple of reference tool worksheets for students to use locating and evaluating reference books. Purpose: Shows how and why to use reference material. (Adapted from the University of Buffalo)

Understanding "The Literature" of a Discipline
What does "the literature" of a discipline look like? What comprises it? Students investigate the production and dissemination of information in a given discipline. How is the knowledge produced? By whom? In which media is it presented/communicated? What is the publishing cycle? How important is informal communication in the field? Purpose: Demystifies the elusive term "the literature" (Adapted from the University of Buffalo)

Read the References
Assignment: Read the articles cited in a research paper. Explain how each is related to the paper. In what circumstances is it appropriate to cite other papers? What different purposes do the citations serve? Purpose: Shows when it is appropriate to recognize the contributions of previous authors in the development of new work. (Adapted from the University of Buffalo)

Finding Suitable Information
Assignment: Give the students a set of Web pages to look at. Have them note any reasons why these pages are, or are not appropriate for university level student research or for in-class use. Purpose: A source that is useful in one instance, may not be useful in all instances. Either scholarly or popular sites might be appropriate depending on the requirements of the class assignment. (Adapted from the University of Buffalo)

Comparing Print and Web Resources
Assignment: In groups of 3-5, have students examine pairs of items (books, articles, web sites) to determine: indicators of quality in each item; where exactly they found those indicators; the appropriate use for each item. Have them report their findings to the class after the class has had a chance to also evaluate the sites. Purpose: Students will learn that the Web has not replaced print resources, rather it should be used as a complement to them. (Adapted from the University of Buffalo)

Flow of Information
Cannell Librarian Joan Carey adapted a great timeline that looks at different types of information sources (radio/TV/internet news, newspapers, magazines, journals, books, reference sources, web pages). A chart lists the time frame from an event to “publication” and lists the appropriate tools for searching the source. Assignment ideas: After a brief introduction to the types of sources, give students a list of questions or topics and have them select the most appropriate tool to use. Alternately, assign a topic to groups of students. Have each group explore a topic in each of the types of information, then have each group report on which type was most effective for the topic. Lots of other variations.

How to Read a Database
Using the databases available at Cannell Library, students will locate and read the HELP or SEARCH TIP menus. Students will complete a worksheet focusing on the features of one particular database, or they can compare the features across two or more databases.

Information Ethics
Students look at a headline on the same day from three different online newspapers (i.e. New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Irish Times - Dublin). Students will analyze the headlines, language, story content. Kate Scrivener uses this exercise in class to discuss information ethics, but it could also be a written assignment. (From Kate Scrivener, Clark College English Department)


Career Chase
Ask each student to describe a career they envision themselves in and then research the career choice. What are the leading companies in that area? Why? (If they choose something generic like secretarial or sales, what is the best company in their county of residence to work for? Why?) Choose a company and find out what its employment policies are-flex time, family leave, stock options. If the company is traded publicly, what is its net worth? What is the outlook for this occupation? Expected starting salary? How do the outlook and salaries vary by geography? (From

Company Research
Assemble background information on a company or organization in preparation for a hypothetical interview. For those continuing in academia, research prospective colleagues' and professors' backgrounds, publications, current research, etc. (From


Who’s Who?
Identify significant people in your discipline. Have students consult a variety of biographical resources and subject encyclopedias to gain a broader appreciation for the context in which important accomplishments were achieved. (From Term Paper Alternatives, University of California, Berkeley)

Write and Produce a Newsletter
Have small groups of students produce a brief newsletter on a specific topic related to class. Students should include articles with relevant research, post information on upcoming related public events, and so on. Share these newsletters with faculty and students in related courses or in the major.

Concept Mapping
Have students create visual representations of models, ideas, and the relationships between concepts. They draw circles containing concepts and lines, with connecting phrases on the lines, between concepts. These models can be done individually or in groups, once or repeated as students acquire new information and perspectives, and can be shared, discussed, and critiqued. [Note: Inspiration software, a concept mapping tool, is available in all the Clark College computer labs]

Analyze Case Studies
Bring in case studies for students to read (for example, I will put a case example of sexual harassment on an overhead). Have students discuss and analyze the case, applying concepts, data, and theory from the class. They can work as individuals or in groups or do this as a think-pair-share. Consider combining this with a brief in-class writing assignment.

Create an Anthology
Using the book catalog and databases, have students compile an anthology or reader of works on a theme or topic. Students will write critical introductions to the selections they have chosen. This exercise is good for teaching providing students practice with selecting particular sources out of many and relating pieces to a whole. (Adapted from An alternative is to compile an anthology of readings by one person. Have students include an introduction with biographical information about the author, and the rationale for including the works [justify with reviews or critical materials].

Glossary Exercise
Have students maintain a list of words related to the topic of the class (from lectures, the textbook, readings). Using words on the list students create an annotated glossary, for which they provide documented definitions for each of the words. The instructor can set a minimum number of words and sources (i.e. forty words from at least 10 different sources). Sources can include general and subject-specific dictionaries, people, web sites, a whole book on the topic, an article on the topic, etc.)

Topic Across Sources
Select a topic and compare how that topic is treated in two to five different sources. (From

Journal Analysis
Analyze the content, style, and audience of three journals in a given discipline. (From

Teach the Class
Each student in the class is given responsibility for dealing with a part of the subject of the course. He or she is then asked to 1) find out what the major reference sources on the subject are; 2) find out "who's doing what where" in the field; 3) list three major unresolved questions about the subject; 4) prepare a 15 minute oral presentation to introduce this aspect of the subject to the class. (From

Biographical Research
Write a biographical sketch of a famous person. Use biographical dictionaries, popular press and scholarly sources, and books to find information about the person. (From

Nobel Peace Prize
Nominate someone or a group for the Nobel Peace Prize. Learn about the prize, the jury, etc. Justify the nominations. (From

Write Your Own Exam
Write an exam on one area; answer some or all of the questions (depending on professor's preference). Turn in an annotated bibliography of source material, and rationale for questions. (From

Examine Coverage of a Controversial Issue
Examine the treatment of a controversial issue in several different sources such as newspapers, books, magazines, scholarly journals, and web sites. Write a paper that presents a balanced point of view on the issue or ask the students to take a position based on the information. Purpose: Gives them experience in locating different kinds of sources and selecting from a large volume of references. Emphasizes that there are multiple perspectives on any issue and stresses the importance of making informed decisions. (From:

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