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UNIV 110 Online Course - Scholarly Inquiry and Research Methods

Course Syllabus


Trinity Western University

Undergraduate Course Syllabus

Course Number: Univ 110 OL

Course Name: Scholarly Inquiry and Research Methods

Semester and Year: Fall 2022

Course Day(s) & Time: Wednesdays, Oct. 26 – Nov. 29, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Instructor:  William Badke

Contact Information:

Course site:

Office Hours: Most hours in the day; contact me by email

Co-requisites or Pre-requisites:  None

Semester Hours:  2

We acknowledge that Trinity Western University, Langley campus is located on the traditional ancestral unceded territory of the Stó:lō people.

We acknowledge that Trinity Western University, Richmond campus is located on the traditional ancestral unceded territory of the Musqueam people.

We acknowledge that Trinity Western University, Laurentian Leadership Centre in Ottawa is located on the traditional ancestral unceded territory of the Algonquin people.

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.
  2. Develop an appreciation for topic analysis and research focused around a question or hypothesis.
  3. 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.
  4. Acquire a deeper ability to use critical thinking to interact with diverse concepts, evaluate truth claims, synthesize data and make conclusions.
  5. Show an appreciation for the ethical requirements of research and writing within Christian and marketplace contexts.

Course Learning 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

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 this link. (Prezi presentation)  (Google Slide presentation offering more comprehensive information)

      Health and Safety

TWU students are expected to adhere to any provincial public health orders or university regulations (and any exemptions provided therein) pertaining to campus spaces including classrooms, laboratories, common areas and other learning environments. PLEASE NOTE: Guidelines may change over the academic year and will be communicated to students via instructors and/or email.

Students with questions about COVID-19 or other wellbeing concerns can find more information online:, or email for further support.

Student medical and mental health services are available in-person and online through the Wellness Center (located on the 2nd floor, Douglas Center on the Langley Campus). Details about all clinical services, including appointment booking, are found online at: A range of self-help wellbeing resources and the new free TalkCampus app, are accessible online at:

Campus Closure and Class Cancellation

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

University Standard Grading System

The Standard Grading System can be found in the Academic Calendar at (See Section: Grading Practices).

[NOTE: If your department or course deviates from the standard, include that grading system here, and change the title of this section to Course Grading System.]

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.

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

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