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Information Literacy Assignments: Suggested Assignments

Information Literacy Assignments

1.       Have students explain what an information database is and how it is relevant for finding information.

2.       Have students discuss the difference between various search engines.

3.       Have students examine the role of information in a democratic society. What are the issues? How is information relevant or important to them?

4.       Have students explain the difference between a popular and scholarly work.

5.       Have students locate a popular magazine article, then find a scholarly article on the same subject. Compare the two articles for content, style, bias, audience, etc.

6.       Have students locate primary sources from their date of birth. They may use one type of material only once, i.e., one newspaper headline of a major event, one quotation, one biography, one census figure, one top musical number, one campus event, etc. Use a minimum of six different sources. Write a short annotation of each source and include the complete bibliographic citation.

7.       Have students choose an autobiography of someone related to the course content. Find secondary sources which deal with an idea or event described in the autobiography. Compare and contrast the sources.

8.       Have students go to the library and report back on the kinds of services that are available.

9.       Given a topic, have students search for relevant information resources using the internet and compare what they retrieve with the resources found in Search@XU.

10.    Have students complete the research for a term paper except for the paper itself. Have students turn in at intervals: choice of a topic, annotated bibliography, outline, thesis statement, first paragraph, and conclusion.

11.    Have students identify 10 articles from Search@XU or the library databases and obtain at least three full text articles, providing a full bibliographic citation.

12.    Have students retrieve statistical resources of relevance to their course. Have them look for statistical trends and postulate the causes of those trends in writing. Discuss in class the most likely causes of the trends.

13.    Have students construct a timeline or map that illustrates the influence of a particular piece of published research and then summarize the relationship of the original research with what followed.

14.    Stage a debate in class with pro and con panels. Students should be responsible for obtaining relevant information, including both electronic and paper resources.  Suggest they search in Points of View Reference Center for information.

15.    Write an evaluation of a particular work or person using book reviews, weighing biographical information about the author and the reviewers. Students should identify at least one electronic resource available on the topic.  Sources can be found in the Literary Reference Center.

16.    Compare a fictional work with social commentary or accounts written about people during the same time that the fictional work takes place. Cite the resources used, ensuring that the citations are accurate.

17.    Have students examine a Web search using a search engine (such as Google or Google Scholar) and a database (such as ABI Inform) for information resources on a topic. Have students prepare a description of the resources available through the two tools and discuss how the tools are similar and different.

18.    Have students prepare an annotated bibliography including the best, most useful books, essays, periodical articles, or other relevant sources on a subject. Entries should be properly cited and annotated. Students should be prepared to explain how each work was useful to them: basic information, useful insights (if so, what?). Also, students should explain how and where they obtained the information.

19.    Have students prepare a term paper using appropriate resources in a variety of formats.

20.    Have students develop a logical plan to retrieve information in a variety of formats, retrieve the information, evaluate the information, cite the information resources appropriately, and present their findings to the class.