Chat loading...

Online Course Design and the Library

Using Research-based Course Assignments

The Online Campus has created standardized research-based assignment instructions.

Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography is a list of sources that contains a citation, summary, and evaluation of each. Standard length of each annotation is 100-150 words, excluding the citation.  The summary provides a description of the content and includes the work’s main points and purpose.  The evaluation examines the author’s credentials and authority on the topic; identification of any bias or point of view held by the author; the source’s quality, and its relevance or usefulness to the topic in general and to the student’s specific project.  Example of an APA annotated bibliography:

Literature Review

A literature review is a comprehensive survey of scholarly articles, books, and other sources, such as dissertations and conference proceedings,  published on a specific issue or topic. The literature review includes a description, summary, and critical evaluation of each source.  The purpose is to provide an overview of the important research and writing on the given topic.  Literature reviews do not present new research but do identify areas for future research on the topic.  By its definition, a lit review can’t have 1-3 sources, so please do not assign mini-lit reviews.

Research Paper

A composition that states a thesis and advances logical argument based on supporting information found in a systematic investigation of the topic. The source of quotations, facts, and ideas not those of the author must be cited. (ABC-CLIO Dictionary of Information Science)

Research proposal

Research proposals have three basic functions: to explain what you are going to research; the significance of your particular research question; and how you are going to conduct the research. The parts of a research proposal include:

  • Introduction: describes the research question, provides context and background for it, and explains why the question is an important one to research.
  • Background: includes the literature review, to show to what other research has been conducted on your question, and describe how your work will both build upon previous research and bring something new to the discussion.
  • Research design/methods: describes how you will get information and data to answer your research question.

White paper

A white paper is a report, originally an official government document and now increasingly used by corporations, that presents a solution to a specific problem or advocates for a specific approach to an issue.  White papers clearly identify the problem to be solved, present background information on the problem, and propose and advocate for your specific solution. More information on white papers: