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Information Literacy: Instruction for Your Classes

Information Literacy: what it is, why it is important to you, and how to incorporate information literacy skills into your assignments.

Incorporating Information Literacy Into Your Assignments

Critical thinking and research skills are relatively easy to incorporate into existing assignments. You may already be teaching information literacy in your classes without realizing it. This list contains some suggestions to get you started.

  1. Annotated bibliography - Include evaluation with summary.
  2. Editorial fact-finder - Read an editorial and find facts to support it.
  3. Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper about a local topic (e.g. expanded gambling). You want to support your argument with facts and data. Find three peer reviewed articles that support your argument.
  4. Interview preparation - Research a company, institution, or organization as if preparing for a job interview.
  5. Newspaper story - Write a newspaper story, based on research, describing an event. Heighten interest by having several people research the same event, then compare stories.
  6. Research Studies - Locate a research study reported in the news. Using library resources, find the original research article. Read both articles and write a summary of each, comparing the articles for audience, purpose, and style.
  7. Primary vs. secondary sources - Research the same topic - one with primary sources, one with secondary sources. Compare the two sets of results.  
  8. Prominent scholar - Identify a noted scholar or researcher in your discipline. Research his/her career and publications.  Include biographical information, a bibliography of publications and an analysis of the individual in his/her field.
  9. Research log - Create a record of library research: methodology, sources consulted, keywords or subjects searched. Note both successes and failures.
  10. Same topic across disciplinesSelect a topic and research it in different disciplines (e.g., food from an agricultural, historical, and cultural perspective).
  11. Scholarly and popular sources -Compare two articles on same topic, one scholarly, one popular.
  12. Statistical fact check - Find a magazine or newspaper article containing statistics. Find the original source of the statistics. Compare how the statistics were used in both the original source and in the article, noting differences in viewpoint and interpretation.