Scaffolded Research Calendar


Scholarly reading, asking questions, skills associated with source-based writing, background reading

Which course(s)?
Recommended activity/assignment
Helpful resources
All courses
Assign and discuss the type of readings and articles (peer-reviewed, empirical research, theory, pedagogy, etc.) you expect them to be reading for the research paper with the types of issues/questions they might be pursuing. Introducing them to the more complicated types of articles you expect in a research paper will get them familiar with the genre.

Reading Scholarly Articles (interactive tutorial)

ENGL 120/220
Work on key skills associated with source-based writing: summarizing, quoting, paraphrasing, responding. From the first week of class, use assigned readings to practice these skills. Having them respond to readings thinking about the types of questions they might pursue about the issues discussed in the article will also introduce them to the process of reading to discover a research question.
Disciplinary courses
Introduce them to research methods and other disciplinary conventions.
All courses
Assign background reading on a broad issue/topic of the course and use it to discuss the kinds of questions these background readings generate and what more specific issues they might pursue in a research project.


Developing a research question, choosing and narrowing a topic, finding sources, evaluating sources, reading sources, starting an annotated bibliography

All courses
Work with students on helping them choose a topic and research question. Have several class sessions where they bring in a research question that they workshop and revise.

See What is my research question for activities

Introduce students to the library’s resources for the course. (ENGL 120: have the lib session when they have started to work on their research question).
Start the research assignment with class assignments where they bring their in-progress research question, a working bibliography, and at least a few summaries/annotations.
By the end of the month, have them turn in their in-progress research question/topic proposal and annotated bibliography.


Synthesizing research, drafting a research project, doing additional research

All courses
Continue to assign activities that have them working on a bibliography or annotated bibliography assignment. Have a couple of check-in days on where they are in their research.


All courses
Assign the literature review portion of the assignment, asking them to synthesize the sources they have been working with.
ENGL 120
Assign a first draft and schedule time for workshopping and revising the draft.
Peer Editing -- Serving As a Reader (from Hunter's Rockowitz Writing Center)
All courses
After the first draft, have a class session where they discuss how their research question has changed and what additional research they need to do in revising their drafts.
Revision Guidelines (from Hunter's  Rockowitz Writing Center)
Revisit Research Question activities


Revisiting the research question, synthesizing research, writing a research project, doing additional research

All courses
Continue research check-ins (either through a research journal, Blackboard thread or blog, or by taking 10 minutes at the beginning or end of class to discuss where they are in their research and where they are getting stuck.


Continue assigning drafts, workshops, and revisions.
Final project due date.

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Research Toolkit by Wendy Hayden and Stephanie Margolin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.