Students love Google.
They use Google almost exclusively for research purposes when they arrive as freshmen, because that's what they used in high school. They also like Wikipedia.
If you want to encourage your students to use more authoritative sources, try some of the ideas in this guide.
These are assignments that CSUSB faculty created and used in their courses.
All these assignments are variations on the suggestions in this guide.
If you ask students to provide a list of sources before they turn in their paper
Along with their source list, ask students to write about how and where they found their sources and why they chose them.
They could write with any/all of these prompts:
Ask students to write a critical annotated bibliography (with at least 5 entries) on a topic related to your course or their paper.
Students' annotated bibliography should include title, author, where published, when published, and brief summary of article, chapter, or book.
What's new about this assignment? Add a piece on evaluation of sources:
After their summary of each source, ask students to write about the source's purpose and audience and its usefulness to the course/topic.
Ask students to create their own resource guide that identifies and describes credible websites about their topic.
Along with a list of websites and their descriptions, students explain why each source is useful to research in their topic.
Important: students must say what makes each source credible. Have them view the links below to help them figure out what makes a website credible.
Bonus: Students can share their completed resource guide with the class.
If you sometimes allow students to choose their own paper topic
If you like to have students turn in a first draft
Along with the first draft, ask your students to turn in a reflection about their research process.
Their reflection could develop several or all of the following ideas: