Research matrix: synthesizing search results

Submitted by Hillary Richardson on April 21st, 2021
Share this on: 
Short Description: 

This assignment was created to help undergraduate students use research articles to help inform their argument about a "text."  This exercise has been used in library instruction sessions for art history, composition, english literature, women's studies, and history classes. After reflecting on what they know about a text (or image or multimedia), brainstorming search terms, and tracking relevant patterns in search results, students can synthesize information from a variety of sources in an organized, methodological fashion. 

Research Matrix Exercise.pptxDownloaded 611 times111.33 KB
Research Matrix_handout.docxDownloaded 570 times369.2 KB
Learning Outcomes: 

Students will be able to brainstorm and refine research topics by brainstorming search terms, identifying relevant resources, and charting related topics

Individual or Group:

Course Context (e.g. how it was implemented or integrated): 

This lesson was originally created to assist with organizing ideas and sources for a literature review, but was edited to simplify objectives and condense the lesson for shorter assignments 

Additional Instructor Resources (e.g. in-class activities, worksheets, scaffolding applications, supplemental modules, further readings, etc.): 

See attached files

Potential Pitfalls and Teaching Tips: 

This can be done for individual students or in small groups. In addition to sending this document directly to students (either as a file or in a printed handout), create separate Google docs (or some other interactive document platform) for them to work in together. 

Suggested Citation: 
Richardson, Hillary. "Research matrix: synthesizing search results." CORA (Community of Online Research Assignments), 2021.