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January 22, 2013

Social Bookmarking in the Freshman Composition Research Class

I can still remember when Delicious was all the rage. Remember when you had to remember where all the periods went – I’m not sure I got it right, but those were the days. Then Delicious got bought by Yahoo! and was shelved. Then Yahoo! sold it to the current owners who have, to their credit, tried to regain the hold on the social bookmarking space. But that is all for not, as Diigo took the opportunity to step in when Delicious struggled and created a more education centric service that still thrives today.

I’ve used Diigo in my Freshman Composition ENG102 courses now for about 5-6 years. It’s a research class, so I like to get students started in the research process with something easy – Googling and sharing what they find with each other. I set up the assignment to get students to explore the course theme: personal freedoms to help narrow the focus of their individual research topics. I’ve posted the meat of the assignment below.

Setting Up & Using Diigo

We will use Diigo throughout the semester to keep track of the websites we find during the research process. When you save a webpage, it’s called bookmarking. Diigo is a social bookmarking site. It’s social because it allows for all of us to share our bookmarks with each other. It’s like a big researching party!

Watch this screencast: Setting Up & Using Diigo to learn how to set-up and use Diigo.

Assignment Steps


  • Read the online handbook chapter and watch the lesson video above. Also read the information about Diigo, watch the Diigo videos and register for an account.
  • Join the ENG102 Diigo group.


  • Start with Google. Open a browser and type:
  • Type in different search terms relating to our discussion on personal freedoms. Remember the sky is the limit. We are only exploring, so try many different search terms.
  • Use the tips you learned in the Searching the Internet video.


  • Using the Diigo site, bookmark 10 websites about personal freedoms that you find interesting. Choose a variety of topics that fall under personal freedoms.
  • Give each site you save a Title or edit the current title to make it clear (1 point each).
  • Tag the sites with terms that relate to the site, including the tag: personal+freedoms (don’t forget the plus sign +) You need at least 3 tags for each bookmarked website (1 point each).
  • Write a short summary of the website in the Comment box, so that others will have a good idea what the site offers before clicking the links. Summaries should be 2-3 sentences (1 point each).


  • To submit your 10 links for grading, all you have to do is make sure you are a member of the ENG102 Diigo Group. I decided not to send invites. Just join the group below after you set up your account and I’ll approve you.
  • ENG102 Diigo Group <– Click to Join

Example Assn #2

This is a screen capture of a student’s Diigo page. Make sure you have 10 entries that look like this.Diigo Example

Read more about Diigo: What Do Students Learn by Using Social Bookmarking Site Diigo?

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