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Library, research, and critical thinking activities do not have to be research papers. Below are some alternative assignments. Your liaison can help you locate material for these assignments. Real life, practical, situational assignments (authentic assignments) are always valuable tasks.

Writing Assignments

Have students:

  • Create annotated bibliographies
  • Keep a research log recording their search strategies and findings.
  • Investigate a media topic back to the source. This assignment is especially useful when discussing “fake news.”
  • Locate a poplar article that mentions a research study and then locate the original article with the research study. Have them compare the study and its findings to the popular article.
  • Organize a bibliography by format (books, articles, websites, etc.) and then explain the different types and levels of content in each format.
  • Locate information about themselves or a relative online. Have them assess whether steps should be taken to control this personal information.
  • Select a topic and research it in literature from the 60s and 70s. Then research the same topic in the literature of the 90s and 2000s. Compare and contrast ideas and opinions on the topic.
  • Determine the adequacy of a psychological test based on literature about the test. Then have students develop a test battery designed for a particular clinical (or other) situation by using published tests and the literature about them.
  • Research a disease. Assign each person a “diagnosis” of a disease. Have them investigate both the diagnosis and the prescribed treatments. They should look for a description of the condition; its symptoms, etiology, and prognosis; the effectiveness of the prescribed treatments and their side effects; and a comparison of the relative effectiveness of alternative treatments.


Have students:

  • Utilize education technologies to produce podcasts, infographics, or digital portfolios.
  • Create a poster session for the research findings.
  • Create a mini-advertising campaign with print and digital materials.
  • Write a research grant with an annotated bibliography to support the proposal.
  • Write and produce a public service announcement on a health or social problem.
  • Role-play two sides of a controversial topic.

Mervyn H. Sterne Library

917 13th St S
Birmingham, AL

(205) 934-6364

Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences

1700 University Blvd
Birmingham, AL

(205) 975-4821

Reynolds-Finley Historical Library

1700 University Blvd - 3rd Floor
Birmingham, AL

(205) 934-4475

Alabama Museum of the Health Sciences

1700 University Blvd - 3rd Floor
Birmingham, AL

(205) 934-4475

Lister Hill Library at University Hospital

615 18th Street S - P235 West Pavilion
Birmingham, AL

(205) 934-2275

801 Building

801 5th Ave South
Room 1111
Birmingham, AL

(205) 934-5432

J. Ellis Sparks Medical Library

301 Governors Drive SE - 3rd Floor
Huntsville, AL 35801

(256) 551-4405

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