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UNIV 110 Scholarly Inquiry and Research Methods: Syllabus

Introduction to the skills and tools of information research in a high tech environment, beginning with topic analysis and ending with a sound, analytical research report. Emphasis is placed on development of critical thinking strategies.

Course Syllabus


Trinity Western University 

Undergraduate Course Syllabus 

Course Number: UNIV 110 OL 

Course Name: Scholarly Inquiry and Research Methods 

Semester and Year: Fall 2021 

Course Day(s) & Time: Wednesdays, Sept. 15 – Oct. 19, 6:30-7:30 pm 

Instructor:  William Badke 
Contact Information: 
Office Hours: Contact any time 
Co-requisites or Pre-requisites:  None 
Semester Hours:  2 
Course site:  

Course Description:  

Introduction to the skills and tools of information research in a high tech environment, beginning with topic analysis and ending with a sound, analytical research report.  Emphasis is placed on development of critical thinking strategies, within the conventions of scholarly inquiry that are transferable to most information tasks.  Skills developed through this course will have marketplace application.  

Course Design 

The course is essentially online, using the course site above, but there are five hour-long Zoom sessions on the 5 Wednesdays of the course to introduce major concepts and answer questions. 

Course Learning Outcomes: 

The student will:  

  1. Gain an understanding of the characteristics of information and its dissemination in the information age.  

  1. Develop an appreciation for topic analysis and research focused around a question or hypothesis.  

  1. Learn to strategize research procedures using a wide variety of tools and information sources, based on an understanding of information systems and their manner of operation.  

  1. Acquire a deeper ability to use critical thinking to interact with diverse concepts, evaluate truth claims, synthesize data and make conclusions.  

  1. Show an appreciation for the ethical requirements of research and writing within Christian and marketplace contexts.  

Course Learning Outline and Evaluation: 

Course requirements consist of five assignments, all of which are posted at  All assignments must be completed and receive a pass if you are to pass the course.  Each assignment is worth 20% of the total course grade, and only letter grades are assigned. Assignments are to be sent by e-mail attachment at  

Assignment One - Due at the beginning of class two - Questions on “What is Scholarship?” presentation, topic section, working knowledge of topic. 

Assignment Two - Due at the beginning of class 3 – Research question development, preliminary outline, response to Textbook Appendix B. 

Assignment Three - Due at the beginning of class 4 – Search for relevant books, using keywords and controlled vocabularies 

Assignment Four  - Due at the beginning of class 5 – Journal article searches for relevant articles from Library OneSearch, an individual database, and Google Scholar. 

Assignment Five - Due one week after the final class – Final research question, outline, and bibliography. 


Required Texts and Materials: 

Badke, William.  Research Strategies: Finding your Way through the Information Fog, 7th ed. Bloomington, IN:, 2021.  

Course Policies: 

Academic Integrity and Avoiding Plagiarism at TWU 

One of the core values of Trinity Western University is the integration of academic excellence with high standards of personal, moral, and spiritual integrity. The University considers it a serious offence when an individual attempts to gain unearned academic credit. It is the student’s responsibility to be informed about what constitutes academic misconduct. For details on this, and on identifying and avoiding plagiarism go to the University Homepage > Academics > Academic Calendar (Section: Academic Policies). (Prezi presentation)  (Google Slide presentation offering more comprehensive information) 

Campus Closure and Class Cancellation 

In the event of extreme weather conditions or other emergency situations go to the

Grading and Late Assignments 

Because the Adult Degree Completion program is accelerated, prompt submission of assignments as well as grading and instructor feedback is important. However, life happens and sometimes accommodations need to be made. Regarding due dates, the following responsibilities and consequences apply: 

  1. The instructor will strive to return all on-time assignments (with a grade and comments where appropriate) to students within 1 to 2 weeks after the due date. 

  1. It is the student’s responsibility to inform the instructor in advance of the due date that an assignment will be late and to negotiate an extension agreement with the instructor (an email request along with the instructor’s confirmation is all that is required).  

  1. All assignments submitted after the posted due date (without an instructor approved extension) will be deducted 2% for each day late. 

  1. No assignments (without an instructor approved extension) will be graded if submitted later than seven days from the official course end date. 

TWU GLOBAL Standard Grading System 

Letter Grade 

% Range 

Grade Point 






Unusually outstanding work; completely error-free work at the highest level attainable 



Outstanding, excellent work 




Outstanding, excellent work with very minor flaw/s 




Very good work with few flaws 



Good, competent work 




Good, competent work with noticeable flaws in one or more areas of content, syntax, formatting, and/or APA usage 




Adequate, reasonably satisfactory work with significant flaws in one or more areas 



Adequate, reasonably satisfactory work with significant flaws in two or more areas 




Adequate, reasonably satisfactory work with significant flaws in three or more areas 




Minimally acceptable work 



Minimally acceptable work 




Minimally acceptable work 

Below 50 

Inadequate Work 

Course Statements: 

Academic Freedom 

With our charter, mission, and identity as a Christian university, Trinity Western University is committed to academic freedom, affirming and supporting it as defined and described in the statements of Universities Canada and the Tri-Council Research Granting Agencies provided in full at the following link:

Students should familiarize themselves with both the academic freedom statement and policy found at the Academic Freedom website. In this course, the academic freedom of both the course instructor and students is to be respected. Trinity Western University welcomes a diversity of academic perspectives, both in class discussion and submitted course work, provided they are thoughtfully and respectfully presented. Hate speech will not be tolerated. 
Accessibility Statement 

Students with a disability who need assistance are encouraged to contact the Centre for Accessible Learning upon admission to TWU to discuss their specific needs. All disabilities must be recently documented by an appropriately certified professional and include the educational impact of the disability along with recommended accommodations. Once documented with the Centre for Accessible Learning, a letter will be sent to the student’s professor recommending appropriate accommodations. Within the first two weeks of the semester, students must meet with their professors to agree on accommodations appropriate to each class. Students should follow the steps detailed by the Centre for Accessible Learning outlined on the website at

Hospitality in the Classroom 

TWU is committed to an ethic of inclusion centred on the principles of Christian hospitality, reciprocity and reconciliation. We seek to cultivate generous learning spaces that are based on respect for differences and are open to diverse views, opinions, and identities that are thoughtfully expressed in a collegial manner. We welcome and value all voices, including those from under-represented groups or those who have been marginalized. 

Class Attendance 

Class attendance, whether face-to-face or virtual, is very important to student success at TWU. Students must attend class at least 75% of the time. If students fail to meet this standard, the instructor may fail the student from the course. 

TWU Writing Centre (Undergraduate) 

The Writing Centre is available to assist all students with their academic writing assignments in any subject at any stage of the writing process from brainstorming to editing. Live, online writing appointments are available throughout the week by appointment and take place within the Learning Commons appointment booking system. To make an appointment, visit For undergraduates, online writing feedback is offered through WriteAway. Students can submit up to three drafts of a paper, and the online tutors will provide feedback and resources to help improve the writing. Find out more at For more information, visit or contact

Tentative Course Outline: 

Section One – Introducing Scholarly Inquiry in Today’s Information Environment   

a.       Introduction to Today’s World of Information in the Context of Scholarly Inquiry  

b.      The Nature of Research  

Assignment One - Due at the beginning of class two  

Section Two – Developing Goals in a Context of Research as Conversation   

a.       Development of research questions/thesis statements  

b.      Development of preliminary outlines as research blueprints  

c.       Research as a conversation.    

d.      Close reading of a research article  

Assignment Two - Due at the beginning of class 3  

Section Three – Search Techniques and Conventions   

a.       Keyword searching – Internet and Library OneSearch  

b.      Controlled vocabularies  

c.       Optimizing the connection between the research question and the resources found.  

Assignment Three - Due at the beginning of class 4  

Section Four – Journal Research   

a.       The role of journals in scholarly inquiry  

b.      Introduction to today’s journal literature  

c.       Optimizing journal databases with subject headings and other limiters  

d.      Introduction to Google Scholar as an alternate search tool.  

Assignment Four  - Due at the beginning of class 5  

  1. Section Five – Information Evaluation and Special Topics  

a.       The challenge of academic authority  

b.      Using checklists to evaluate the quality of information.  

c.       Finding relevance in resources  

d.      Balancing views within research as a conversation.   

e.      Research Ethics - Plagiarism and copyright  

f.       Organizing found resources for research writing  

Assignment Five - Due one week after the final class  

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