Using the university archives to demonstrate real research
This essay describes an assignment that I used in an undergraduate Victorian studies course and encourages other instructors to modify it to meet their needs and the needs of their students. Working with the staff of the Archives and Special Collections Department of the institution where I teach, I developed an assignment that would allow students to work in the library to perform genuine primary research on Victorian topics. The result was a written report (500–1,250 words) and an oral presentation to the class. Working with handwritten records, nineteenth‐century books and newspapers, students gained a deeper appreciation for the research process. In addition to examining a particular assignment, the essay also explores the larger problem of teaching undergraduate students about research.
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