English 113 (Expository Writing I) is flagged for “information literacy” within the general education curriculum. Given this distinction, it is integral to English 113 course goals and objectives that students become acquainted with the skills required to understand and effectively seek, identify, evaluate, and access, various forms of information existing within the rapidly changing and seemingly ubiquitous information environment. Each section spends several class sessions with a Research and Instruction Librarian who will teach students what it means to really “search”, and challenge them to think critically about the information they encounter. From the curiosity of a Google search, to an advanced database query, students will learn how to map out and navigate the many stages of a dynamic research-writing process.
These sessions will thus work towards the development of information fluency, acknowledging the two key facets of students’ information seeking behaviors, namely, the use of both in-house (library) tools as well as what is available online. The bridge between these two resource pools—the wider context of all searching—is the appreciation of research as an evolving, responsive process and the development of good search strategies.
Some of the more specific concepts and themes these sessions will address include:
(more on these below)
It is certain that the development of such skills requires the students’ full career as undergraduates, but library sessions for English 113 classes should have the space necessary for beginning to develop them. Ideally these sessions will be timed to coincide with a research paper, preferably one that allows students the flexibility to truly explore a topic or question by interacting with, and incorporating, a variety of sources into their work. Since writing assignments naturally vary between sections of English 113, professors are encouraged to collaborate with “their librarian” to determine how these information literacy objectives can best be met in conjunction with their unique approaches to the course.
Defining and developing topics (“Presearch”)
Identifying appropriate information resources for research purposes
Implementing search terms/strategy
Accessing different types of text in/via the library
Analyzing and evaluating results critically
Expanding and refining Internet research
Incorporating and citing Sources