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The Research Assignment Calculator (TRAC)

How to put TRAC in your online classroom

You can place the link anywhere in your online classroom: in your syllabus, in Course Content, etc. You can use this or similar language, and of course include the link to TRAC:

For your research assignment, use The Research Assignment Calculator (TRAC):

Enter the assignment due date, and TRAC will help you schedule your research and writing and link you to helpful resources.

When to use TRAC

Direct your students to TRAC when you have assigned a large research project, such as a term paper. TRAC assists students with their time management by breaking down a project into the following steps, providing a due date for each step, and linking to helpful resources:

  1. Understand your assignment
  2. Select and focus topic
  3. Write working thesis
  4. Design research strategy
  5. Find, review, and evaluate journal/magazine/newspaper articles
  6. Find, review, and evaluate websites
  7. Find, review, and evaluate books
  8. Outline or describe overall structure
  9. Write first draft
  10. Conduct additional research as necessary
  11. Revise and rewrite
  12. Put paper in final form

If your research assignment is already staged (that is, divided into steps, with a due date for each), then you have already structured the assignment for your students, and TRAC will not be needed.

How to adapt TRAC to fit your class's needs

If you want to convert a large assignment into a staged one, you can take the steps and scheduling used in TRAC and adapt them to your class’s needs. When designing an assignment, please feel free to consult a UMGC librarian on any aspect of the assignment that involves library research. You can contact us via Ask a Librarian.