STUDENT SUCCESS & How combining multiple ideas into a new plan shows higher levels of thinking. #BloomsTaxonomy

Commentary by Professor B: Students sometimes ask how many resources they should be using in their classroom discussion and their homework. I recently responded to a student that “the real key is to show that you’re developing ideas from a number of sources.” Here is the reason why this is important in graduate school:


I’ve given some suggestions, but there really are no requirements. The suggestions I have given are: one to two textbooks and 2 to 3 outside sources for a B. So a person with an A might use more than that.

But the real key is to show that you’re developing ideas from a number of sources.

So as you go through your discussions during the week, be checking around the Internet and finding juried sources that give you ideas how to tackle each week’s problems.

Then when you get to your final paper you will have a cadre of ideas you can synthesize together to create a plan. This synthesis fulfills what is called level five of Bloom’s taxonomy. (See Bloom’s taxonomy says that higher levels demonstrate higher degrees of critical thinking. And the next to the highest level is synthesis: combining several ideas together into something unique that works for your context.

As you know, I have put together a research site ( with links to almost 3000 articles that you can search by keyword. This should help you with a shortcut to juried research that other students have found or that I have found.

But I’m here to help … so I don’t want to be inflexible with the number of sources. Rather just connected with different sources on each week’s topic and create a synthesize plan. That shows not only that you created a unique solution, but also that you’r using higher levels of thinking to do it.

Thanks for the question.

Here to help.

Professor B.