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Library Guide for EN 102 Instructors: Library Instruction Options

Information about planning library instruction for your class

Information Literacy Instruction

Option 1: Finding Materials in the Library

In this session, students will learn to read Scout records and be able to determine the format and location of items. Students will also learn to find physical items within the library and answer critical thinking questions about the organization of information. This session is focused on digital and media literacy issues within Scout and will not cover keywords (covered in Option 2), or search strategies in Scout or in individual databases (covered in Option 4).

This class will cover:

  • Areas of a Scout record (author, date, location, etc)

  • Finding the location of electronic and print materials as described within the

  • Locating materials on the shelf using a LCC, and talking about the context and arrangement of materials


Learning outcomes:

  1. Students will learn to read Scout records in order to to determine the format and location of items.

  2. Students will locate materials on the shelf in order to better understand how information is arranged within a library.

Option 3: Evaluating Sources

This lesson corresponds with The Norton Field Guide to Writing 4th Edition, P469-472, Evaluating Sources

In this session, students will learn to assess a source for relevancy and authority to decide whether a it meets the needs of their writing assignment. Students will engage in activities and conversations throughout this session to help them understand the nature of popular and academic publishing.

This class will cover:

  • how to research an author
  • how to identify publication process
  • how to determine the intent of sources.

Learning outcomes:


  1. Students will recognize different processes of source creation in order to choose sources that appropriately meet their research needs:
    • Editorial oversight
    • Intended audience
    • Review process
  2. Student will determine an author’s expertise and the reputation of a publication in order to assess a source’s credibility within their research assignment.

Option 5: Questions and Answers with a Librarian

During this session, a librarian will come to your normal classroom and answer student questions about the research process. This session normally takes place during the drafting stage of a research-based writing assignment and is ideally positioned after students have spent some time searching for sources. Students should come to class with at least one question about doing research in hand.

Option 2: Methods for Approaching Research

This lesson corresponds with The Norton Field Guide to Writing 4th Edition, P281-284 Writing as Inquiry; Norton P289-297 Generating Ideas and Texts

In this session, students will learn how to analyze a topic, use reference resources, and develop a search strategy for finding sources for their writing assignments.

This class will cover:

  • how to  narrow a topic and brainstorm topic ideas
  • how to identify key concepts and controlled vocabulary
  • how to use reference tools 
  • how to select search terms and develop a search strategy

Learning outcomes:

  1. Students will break a topic down into smaller components in order to engage in the iterative process of narrowing a research question.
  2. Students will select terms related to their key concepts in order to develop a search strategy.

Option 4: Advanced Search Strategies

This lesson corresponds with The Norton Field Guide to Writing 4th Edition, P445-468 Finding Sources

In this session, students will be taught to execute advanced searches in selected databases and resources. Databases will be selected when the session is scheduled, and advanced options will be chosen according to the needs of the class topic and assignment. 

This class will cover:

  • how to use advanced search options for specific resources such as LexisNexis Academic, the Library’s Catalog, JSTOR.
  • how to find a specific publication using a Journal Title Search
  • how to find a known item such as an article that is referenced in an index record or a  works cited page
  • how to use controlled vocabulary for targeted, field-specific searching

Learning outcomes:

  1. Students will use controlled vocabulary and field-specific search options and limiters in order to retrieve topically relevant sources.
  2. Students will combine search terms with boolean operators in order to effectively interpret their research question into an effective search query.

6 Concepts of Information Literacy

Authority Is Constructed and Contextual

Information resources reflect their creators' expertise and credibility, and are evaluated based on the information need and the context in which the information will be used. Authority is constructed in that various communities may recognize different types of authority. It is contextual in that the information need may help to determine the level of authority required.

Information Creation as a Process

Information in any format is produced to convey a message and is shared via a selected delivery method. The iterative processes of researching, creating, revising, and disseminating information vary, and the resulting product reflects these differences.

Information Has Value

Information possesses several dimensions of value, including as a commodity, as a means of education, as a means to influence, and as a means of negotiating and understanding the world. Legal and socioeconomic interests influence information production and dissemination.

Research as Inquiry

Research is iterative and depends upon asking increasingly complex or new questions whose answers in turn develop additional questions or lines of inquiry in any field.

Scholarship as Conversation

Communities of scholars, researchers, or professionals engage in sustained discourse with new insights and discoveries occurring over time as a result of varied perspectives and interpretations.

Searching as Strategic Exploration

Searching for information is often nonlinear and iterative, requiring the evaluation of a range of information sources and the mental flexibility to pursue alternate avenues as new understanding develops.


For more information, check out the document on the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education!