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Think Like a Researcher: Instruction Resources: #8 Understanding the Knowledge Cycle

Teaching Research And Information Literacy (TRAIL) Curriculum Resources for Writing 10


Course Learning Outcome:  Demonstrate information literacy and be able to work with evidence

Goal:  Increase students’ awareness of the speed of publishing behind different sources

Specifically, students will be able to

  • Understand the timeline for the production of information sources and how this may influence their own searches (and ability to find information in specific formats)

Lesson: Understanding the Knowledge Cycle


1. Use the Knowledge Cycle Tutorial from the larger Research Process Tutorial series.

2. Assign individually or do together in class.

* Some instructors have gone over this tutorial in class.  If you want students to do this on their own, you can ask them to affiliate with your course.  (Instructions for Students to Connect to Your Course box.)  You can then access and download student scores for this section of the Research Process Tutorial series. (Instructions Access Scores of Students box.)

3. You may wish to follow the tutorial with a discussion about the challenges some students may have with finding scholarly information depending on their research question.  This can lead to a broader discussion about available sources.


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Research Journal

Understanding the Knowledge Cycle

Answer the following questions based on what you learned by completing the Knowledge Cycle Tutorial.

  • What kind of information sources might you find if you were researching the events of September 11, 2001?
  • How would those sources differ from what you might find if you were researching the events of the attempted coup in Turkey in the summer of 2016?

Access Scores of Students

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Importance of Students Joining Your Class

  • When students take the quizzes, this participation and score information is recorded and made available to you IF the student has joined your class.

Accessing Student Participation & Score Information

Instructions for Students to Connect to Your Course

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Join a Class

If you are taking this tutorial series for a class, join that class.

  • Visit the Research Process Tutorial – UC Merced Courses page
  • Click "Log in with UCM CAS" - unless you are already logged in.
  • You will be prompted to sign in with your UCMnetID -- unless you are already signed in.
  • You may need to click the X (far right) to close the green horizontal bar.
  • Select your course.
  • Then you can select the section for that course.
  • You will receive a message that says "You have selected ...."
  • This will allow your instructor to see your participation and scores in the tutorial series.


  • Your login for taking the quizzes is your UCMnetID.
  • If you are already logged into another application such as the UC Merced portal, you may discover that you will not be prompted to login for the quiz but will be taken directly to it.

Quiz Results

  • You can return to view your quiz results using the My Quiz Results link found at the bottom of each tutorial page.