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Core Academic Skills Faculty Pack: Information Literacy

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

Annotate A Chapter

Choose a chapter from a work of literature students are reading for class. Have them annotate the chapter:

  • Define vocabulary (foreign, dated, specialized)
  • Research the facts when an event, place, or important person is mentioned
  • Elaborate on politics, social mores, or customs that are mentioned, etc.

Have students cite the sources of where they find their information, and reflect on what the process of annotation brought to their understanding of the work. (Recommended Library Resource: CREDO Reference)

Bibliography Analysis

Have students work specifically with the bibliography on an instructor-selected article pertaining to a major topic in the course. Have them analyze the following: dates, authors, types of sources, etc. Prompt them to draw conclusions from what they find:

  • Dates: Are all the dates from recent sources? If not, how far back in time do they go? What does this tell us about this topic?
  • Authors: Are all of the authors different or are some the same? If one author shows up repeatedly what does that tell us? Is reliance on multiple sources from the same author a good idea? For literature, are several editions of the same work cited? If so, why might that be?
  • Types of Sources: Are most of the sources books/articles/websites/something else? What might this tell us about the level of research that is the basis of the article? Do many sources come from the same journal(s) and if so, what does that tell us?
  • Vocabulary: Are there terms that appear over and over again? How might this help us search for more information?

"As It Happened" vs. The History Books (Primary vs. Secondary Sources)

Choose an event in history and have students look up a contemporary news article in the library databases reporting on the event as it happened. Have them compare the contemporary news report with the chapter/section regarding the event in a current book of history. Have students write an analysis regarding:

  • Is there information we know now that was not in the news report?
  • Author/Audience - Why and for whom was each account written? Who wrote it and what do we think their credentials/expertise is?
  • Is there a difference between on-the-spot reporting and a historical view of an event? What does this tell us about how we should view news reporting today?

Nobel Prize Nomination

Ask students to nominate someone for a Nobel Prize related to the course content (Peace, Literature, Medicine etc.) Have them support their nominee with information on the criteria for the award and on the candidate’s background and achievements.

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.