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Information literacy has been defined as the ability to find, evaluate, and use information.  This assignment combines all three elements in a tangible way for use in this assignment and to reference again in future research assignments and essays.

Organizing and keeping track of one's research is a key skill-set that can make a significant difference for students trying to gain entry to higher levels of study. 

This is also an end-product from my college prep English courses that students can use and present in a job interview, and I have known several students to use this portfolio-presentation strategy to great success.

  • The binder itself needs to be well-labelled, both on the cover and on the side, for easy and efficient retrieval
  • The binder should present the students' work well, using a variety of organizational devices, e.g. tabs, pockets, colour-coding, etc.
  • Students are encouraged to think of this assignment as a template to use for future scholarly assignments, so are free to add their own embellishments that they think will help them be successful in future research papers and assignments.

  • Introductory Letter, using the Cover Letter style, introducing the research binder and discussing the experience of conducting library research (both the good and bad), which also needs to demonstrate the usage of the WISPR handout (PDF)
  • Research Binder Marking Sheet (PDF)

  • Working Thesis in the Generating a Thesis Handout (PDF) style or equivalent
  • Mindmap of the planned research essay (PDF), or equivalent using mindmapping software
  • Completed copy of the GANTT chart worksheet (PDF), indicating which days the student has planned to complete each step of the research and writing process to complete a typical 100-level research essay.
  • Time Map indicating enough time has been planned for in a regular week to complete the research assignment.  Students can use any planning tool; I recommend Laura Vanderkam's PDF and Excel templates: http://bit.ly/1KlbxAA

  • Completed Sources Checklist (PDF)
  • Completed copy of the worksheet Recording Your Research Strategy (PDF)
  • Print copies of five (5) peer-reviewed journal articles
  • Photocopy of the title page, publishing information page, and table of contents for two (2) books
  • Print copy of one government source, e.g. statistics report, policy paper, legislation, etc.

  • References page, with sources formatted in APA style
  • Prepared notes for the verbal-only (i.e. no PowerPoint) class presentation about the research experience