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Core Academic Skills Faculty Pack: Information Literacy

A suite of resources for faculty teaching Information Literacy Intensive Courses.

Primary Research vs. Secondary Sources

As part of a research project, require that students use at least one primary research article and one secondary research article. Before the final project is due, have students choose, print, and submit these articles with a brief summary and highlights of why they fit each type. Ask them to reflect on why they might want to use each type of source.

The library also provides an excellent guide on How to Read a Scholarly Article for students tackling this type of research for the first time.

Citation Tracking - Connecting Research

Students are given an instructor-chosen article pertinent to the current state of research on a topic covered in class.

  • Students read the Introduction to the article and highlight sentences (and the related in-text citations) that discuss the foundations of the study.
  • Students then locate the full citations for this information in the bibliography.
  • Using the full citation, students find an older article in the library databases. (NOTE: Not all articles will be available in full-text in the NECC databases for a number of reasons - age, specialized journals, etc. It is useful if the instructor searches beforehand to determine several articles from the bibliography that are available for students to review.)
  • Students then compare the older article with the newer one. Did the current researchers represent the findings of the older study accurately? How do the two pieces of research connect? What can we learn about the topic by looking at how the new research used the older research?

Patient Brochure vs. Practitioner Brochure - Understanding Purpose

Students are often asked to create a brochure suitable for a patient who has either recently been diagnosed with a condition, or is undergoing a particular procedure. Have students create second brochure or fact sheet aimed at health practitioners that may address such things as:

  • Symptom recognition
  • Tests used for diagnosis
  • Equipment procedures
  • Treatment procedures

Have students reflect on the differences between the two brochures, and discuss where they found the information for each, if that differed, and why.


To cite this LibGuide use the following templates:

APA: Northern Essex Community College Library. (Date updated). Title of page. Title of LibGuide. Retrieved from URL

MLA: Northern Essex Community College Library. "Title of Page." Title of LibGuide, Date updated, URL.