There are many different ways to have students go through the research and writing process without relying on the oft-assigned term paper. Assigning something different will generate enthusiasm for the assignment and encourage original work. Be creative!

  • Reflections on the process – At various times students turn in written descriptions of their research process.
  • Problem solving approach – What steps would be taken to solve a problem.
  • Literature review – Evaluative annotated bibliography.
  • Science in the news – Find evidence in literature for news release claims.
  • Event initiated examples – Evaluate a current event based on literature findings.
  • Web assignment – Design an informative webpage.
  • Evaluate thinking – Have students discuss what they found and compare sources.
  • Read and find facts – Read an editorial, article, reflection and find facts to support it.
  • Create a webpage – Select a topic to do with course content.
  • Biography – Select a scholar/researcher in field and report on career, influences, major ideas, moods and trends in research program.
  • Follow a piece of legislation through parliament – What groups are lobbying for/against it and why?
  • Follow a current foreign policy issue as it develops – Have students adopt the perspective of one of the various groups involved and predict the next move.
  • Nominate someone for a Nobel prize – Justify the nomination.
  • Adopt a persona – Write journal entries, letters, commentaries from that person’s perspective
  • Write an exam – Provide answers and provide a rationale for the responses.
  • Write a review of a performance, a movie, a book, a journal article, a guest speaker lecture, etc.
  • Write a newspaper, magazine, webpage story on a topic.
  • Describe your dream job – Research careers in the field and justify the choice of company, location, job, etc.
  • Compare and contrast primary and secondary sources.
  • Evaluate a website.
  • Compare and contrast the state of knowledge on a topic in two different decades or eras.
  • Conduct research but don’t write the final draft.
  • Prepare for a hypothetical interview – Do background research on a company or job offer and how you fit with job description.
  • Compare and contrast the content, style, and audience of three different scholarly journals in a field.
  • Compare and contrast a scholarly journal article with an article from a popular magazine.
  • Prepare for an interview with a top figure in the field – Justify responses, provide background notes.
  • Compare and contrast the ways different disciplines deal with the same subject matter.

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