Communications in Information Literacy, Vol 8, No 1 (2014)

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Same Song, Different Verse: Developing Research Skills with Low Stakes Assignments

Amy E. Stewart-Mailhiot


The research component of college writing and composition courses is often only practiced as part of high stakes assignments. This paper proposes a collaborative approach to helping students develop foundational research skills that builds on the success of the low stakes writing movement. Using Elbow’s 1997 article “High Stakes and Low Stakes in Assigning and Responding to Writing” as a framework, the low stakes research model centers around providing students multiple opportunities to practice research skills in a manner that alleviates library research anxiety and increases research quality. Key to the success of this model is a collaborative relationship between the classroom faculty member and the librarian.

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