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Information Literacy Faculty Toolkit: Using


Using here refers to students using pertinent information in their work in the form of quotes, paraphrases, and other formats; using appropriate citation; using extracted information in support of topic/stance(s); synthesizing new ideas from analysis of the ideas in the information sources they have read; and showing that they can situate their own work within the discourse of the topic/discipline.

Student Struggles

Students struggle with:

  • Effectively and appropriately quoting, paraphrasing and summarizing sources
  • Integrating sources into their writing
  • Awareness of the academic tradition of citing and attributing other scholars' work
  • Seeing themselves as producers as well as consumers of knowledge 

How Instructors Can Help

Rather than assigning a research paper that students can "fake" their way through, create a series of scaffolded assignments (annotated bibliographies, article summaries, or a close reading of one source).

Be clear about how you will assess their use of articles. Shift the focus of your assignment from the number and type of sources to the quality of sources. Have students justify their choice of one article over others.

Ask a WilmU Librarian to help you evaluate students' bibliographies and/or research logs.

Help prevent plagiarism by ensuring your students are clear about APA citation style to use, and how to use it.

Make use of instructional support services and resources provided by the Library and Student Success Center.

Assignment Ideas

Peer Proofreading

While citations can be complicated, students' lack of understanding around the very elements of a citation (e.g journal title, year, issue number, etc.) is often at the root of their frustration when formatting their papers. Consider peer proofreading of citations.

Edited Anthology

* Students edit an anthology of important scholarship on a specific topic, including an introductory essay on the development of scholarship on this topic over time.

Wikipedia Contribution

* Students locate a "stub" and expand on it. Or, students find an article requiring clean up or verification and improve it by verifying information and adding citations.

Research Apprenticeship

* Students "apprentice" librarians or instructors to learn the research trade from different disciplinary standpoints and report on their learning (Head & Eisenberg, 2013, p.33).