Whenever possible, work with faculty in advance so you understand the parameters of the assignment -- the better the papers the faculty get as a result, the more they'll want to work with you.
Think like a student with an assignment
The more specific to the assignment, the more useful to the student
Teach good research method
Include information on evaluating web sites
Pathfinders show students how to research specific topics, and guide them to key resources. They generally include general introductions, reference works, call number areas to explore, key magazine and journal titles, documentary sources, image collections and maps, and, of course, good web sites.
Start with the large collection of pathfinders put together by librarians at the Internet Public Library http://www.ipl.org/ref/QUE/PF/.
Some pathfinders on specific topics include: Research Guide for 2002 Debate Topic http://www2.lib.ku.edu/%7Epublications/debate.htm -- courtesy of University of Kansas Gov Docs Library;
General and National History Day Research http://www.nara.gov/education/historyday/history.html -- from NARA
Science Fair Project Resource Guide http://www.ipl.org/youth/projectguide/ -- from the Internet Public Library
Broaden their thinking beyond web sites -- link in relevant databases, reference resources, etc. Don't use your web pages to increase their misperception that everything they need is on the net and they don't need a library at all ever.
My mental map of the total amount of information available, by form
INTERESTING THINGS OTHER LIBRARIES HAVE DONE FOR HOMEWORK HELP
A+ Research and Writing http://www.ipl.org/teen/aplus/stepfirst.htm -- a step by step guide from the IPL
InfoZone Research Skills Area http://www.assd.winnipeg.mb.ca/infozone/index.htm -- from Pembina Trails School Division. Note the step by step research approach, with web tools for each stage.
Nueva School http://nuevaschool.org/~debbie/library/research/research.html -- so many good resources from Debbie Abilock, including the "Noodle Tools" bibliography generator and the "Choose the best search for your purpose" section.
Stetson Middle School Library http://www.sldirectory.com/stetson.html
Homework Center -- Social Issues http://www.multnomah.lib.or.us/lib/homework/sochc.html -- for each issue, resources neatly divided into "support," "oppose," and "legislation."
Hot Paper Topics http://library.sau.edu/bestinfo/Hot/hotindex.htm -- the page I designed for Best Information on the Net
RELIABLE SUPPORTING RESOURCES: FACTS, DOCUMENTS, STATISTICS, TEXTS
Bartleby http://bartleby.com/ -- full texts of quote books, almanacs, encyclopedias, classic poetry and literature.
Documents in the News http://www.lib.umich.edu/govdocs/docnews.html
Fact Monster http://www.factmonster.com/ -- From Information Please. FAQ files on a wide variety of subjects; links to dictionary and encyclopedia entries
Historical Documents http://library.sau.edu/bestinfo/Majors/History/hisdoc.htm
Internet Modern History Sourcebook http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/modsbook.html -- or any of the other sourcebooks Prof. Halsall has provided, women's history, history of science, history of Islam, etc. Rich source of primary documents.
On-Line Books Page http://digital.library.upenn.edu/books/ -- Indexes and links to over 17,000 digitized books, by author, title, subject also searchable by key word.
Polling Report http://www.pollingreport.com/ -- consolidates and archives polls on all kinds of questions, lifestyle as well as political
Search-22 http://www.search-22.com/reference.html -- Type your key words and then click to choose which online reference source to search it in -- acronym finder, XRefer, InfoPlease, Britannica, and others.
Statistical Resources on the Web http://www.lib.umich.edu/govdocs/stats.html
WhyFiles: the Science Behind the News http://whyfiles.org/
XRefer http://w1.xrefer.com/ -- searches through 50 online dictionaries, encyclopedias and quote books, for free.
GOOD ALL-PURPOSE DIRECTORIES
Kathy Schrock's Guide for Educators http://school.discovery.com/schrockguide/
Colorado Virtual Library for Kids http://kids.aclin.org/ -- click on the teachers' section, where web sites may be searched not only by grade level but by state-required educational benchmarks.
Librarians Index to the Internet http://lii.org/ -- click on Children's Web Sites - Directories
Scout Report Archive http://scout.cs.wisc.edu/archives/ -- over 10,000 reviewed high quality education sites, searchable and browsable.
TIMELINES AND OTHER VISUALIZING TOOLS
Google Directory - Society - History - Timelines http://directory.google.com/Top/Society/History/Timelines/
Timeline of the U.S. Presidents http://chaos1.hypermart.net/pres/tusp.html
American Memory Collection Finder Search http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/S?ammem/collections:@field(FLD003+@band(origf+Photograph)):heading=Original+Format%3a+Photos+&+Prints
Digital Library Federation Public Access Collections http://www.hti.umich.edu/cgi/b/bib/bib-idx?c=dlfcoll
Ditto.com http://ditto.com/ -- a very good picture search engine
Kartoo http://www.kartoo.com/ -- a search engine that visually describes the information structure of a topic.
Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/index.html
ALL-PURPOSE HOMEWORK HELP SITES
Awesome Library http://www.awesomelibrary.org/ -- over 17000 reviewed resources for k-12 education.
DiscoverySchool.com offers help with homework from B.J. Pinchbeck http://school.discovery.com/homeworkhelp/bjpinchbeck/ -- well-respected site constructed by an actual kid
High School Hub http://www.highschoolhub.org/hub/hub.cfm -- in addition to the usual subject categories, includes a good reference collection and handy things like college prep quiz, guides to misspelled words, musical terms, world capitals, etc.
HomeworkSpot http://www.homeworkspot.com/ -- includes field trips, must see sites, tips on study skills, exhibits, answers to questions kids asked them
Kids Click http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/KidsClick!/
KidsKonnect.com http://www.kidskonnect.com/AlphabetizedList.html -- a highly detailed alphabetical subject listing
Multnomah County Library Homework Center http://www.multnomah.lib.or.us/lib/homework/
METHODS FOR RESEARCH AND WRITING
Paradigm Online Writing Assistant http://www.powa.org/ -- tips on how to choose topics, organize data, do the writing, and document resources, within the formal requirements of various kinds of writing assignments
Purdue University's Online Writing Lab: Research and Documenting Sources http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/research/index.html -- includes guides t searching for and evaluating web information, writing the paper, documenting resources, etc.
Tools for College Writing http://www.cabrillo.cc.ca.us/divisions/english/290/
SPECIALIZED SEARCH ENGINES
Ask Jeeves for Kids http://www.ajkids.com/ -- a kid-friendly database of answers
Bartleby -- see above
Ditto.com http://ditto.com/ -- a very good picture search engine
Kids Click http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/KidsClick!/ -- searchable directory of good sites for kids
SciSeek Science Search Engine http://www.sciseek.com/
SearchEdu.com http://www.searchedu.com/ -- restricts itself to searching university web sites, along with links to related topics in the Open Directory
SearchGov http://searchgov.com/ -- searches federal, state, and local government web sites.
X-Refer (see above)