Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

RBA Activities

Main content start

The Art of the Ethical Interview

This multiple-step activity helps student develop ethical best practices for interviewing that they can use for their own research projects.

Crafting Insightful Research Questions

Through this activity, students examine what constitutes a strong research question and then, through peer workshopping, start to develop a question to guide their own project.

Exquisite Corpse Topic Narrowing Activity

In this activity, students engage in an "exquisite corpse"-style activity, where they will get to pass around their research topic idea and see how other students in the room understand, interpret, illustrate, and expand upon it. 

Global RBA Review

This activity allows students to work in pairs and help their peers improve their argumentation by developing a critical eye toward how their peers construct their arguments. This activity encourages students to form a global overview of their RBA by mapping out their arguments and those of their peers.

Metonyms and Lenses - Focusing Your Research

This topic helps students narrow and focus their research topics by having them consider them in reference to the idea of the metonym.

Visualizing the Argument

Through creative use of the whiteboard, this activity challenges students to think creatively about their developing research arguments to re-assess what they truly wanted to argue in their upcoming RBA.

The Elevator Pitch with Peer Response

This activity helps students continue to develop their focus and argument for their RBAs. It is intended to show students that research is an ongoing process.

Jumbo 'Spectra' Worksheets for Narrowing Topics and Locating Positions

In this activity, students use a pair of worksheets to create a visual mapping of research questions to help them focus their topic and their inquiry and identify positions beyond "yes" and "no."

Async Peer Review

This asynchronous activity allows students to peer review their RBA drafts by focusing on higher-order content (ideas, structure, flow, clarity). It gives students focused time of work outside of class meetings while encouraging them to give and receive focused feedback on their research papers.

Accordion Pre-Write

For this activity, students create an "accordion" of these questions to see the full spectrum of possibilities for their research, developing greater insight into the pitfalls of overly-specific or overly-general questions and the advantages of carefully-focused inquiry.

Research Question Framing

This activity helps students think through the process of framing their research questions at the early stage of their RBA by asking them to consider different ways of framing their research questions. It also encourages students to work with each other in the process of finalizing their research questions.

Research Challenge Presentation

This exercise involves a brief semi-formal presentation of the 'research challenge" that each student faces in completing the RBA. Students talk and guide discussion for 5 to 7 minutes. They must prepare a one page handout to frame the discussion. The goal is to get the class involved in the research project and solicit feedback.

Reaching out to Skeptical Readers

This activity uses freewriting and storytelling practice to help students better engage with multiple perspectives on an issue.

RBA Bingo

This interactive activity uses a variation on the typical Bingo game to invite students to reflect on their research journey and the process of writing an RBA.

Mini-Zines for RBA Structure

Students create "mini-zines" to help them conceptualize the organization and structure of their RBAs.

RBA Preliminary Research Blog

This activity helps students get their feet wet in starting their RBA research and getting early feedback on their RBA projects. It reduces the burden of starting a substantial research project by allowing students to do fun, preliminary research to get their RBA going while interacting with their classmates online and helping each other make research progress.

Bridging Story and Research

In this small group activity, students transition between storytelling technique and pitching their research projects, experimenting with ways to bridge the two genres.

Searching for BEAM (Background, Exhibit, Argument, and Method) to Guide Research

This activity, derived from Joseph Bizup, teaches research by helping students understand their sources through a rhetorical framework.

These activities are licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. Please remember to attribute all activities to their original authors (even if with an “adapted from”) on any handouts, webtexts, slides, or assignments sheets you generate from them.

If you have any activities of your own that you’d like to share, please send them here.