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Information Literacy Instruction

Instructional Services Librarian

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Megan Dempsey
908-526-1200 ext. 8412

Information Literacy I Course Outline

  1. Session Description

Information Literacy I is an 80-minute session required as part of the ENGL 111-English Composition I curriculum.The session is taught by a librarian in the Library Classroom during one regular meeting time of each English Composition I section. It is designed to help students accomplish information-seeking assignments for the class but also to learn information-seeking skills that are more broadly relevant to the student. The classroom faculty member is required to be present during the session.

  1. Statement of Need

Information Literacy I introduces students to the concept of strategic exploration of a research topic.This dedicated session of information literacy instruction helps students learn to match their information needs to appropriate source types and the search tools to find those sources. Students will begin to realize that information sources vary greatly in content and format and have varying relevance and value, depending on the information need.

  1. Place in College Curriculum

This session is a required component of the English Composition I curricula, as stated in the ENGL 111 Course Outline, section V.E.

  1. Outline of Content
  1. Distinguish between a range of source types from general to academic and evaluate sources based on:
    1. Intended audience – general public, those with knowledge of a topic, or professionals and scholars in a field
    2. Kind of information communicated – factual, general overview, persuasive opinion, research-based, etc
    3. Purpose of the source – to provide a broad overview, to persuade the audience, to present a single idea on a topic, to share the results of research
    4. For websites, publisher information
  2. Criteria for a “good” research question
    1. It is manageable – not too broad, and can be answered in the length required of the assignment
    2. It is researchable - not so narrow that there is not enough information and it can be answered using available and existing information
    3. It is complex enough that the answer requires analysis of ideas and sources (not a yes or no answer)
    4. It is arguable – the potential answers are open to debate rather than accepted facts
  3. Use strategic exploration of a topic to draft a research question
    1. How to find research starter databases and other broad resources (including books) on library website
    2. Explore a broad topic looking at a range of sources as discussed earlier
    3. Based on initial exploration of sources, begin to draft a research question that meets criteria discussed earlier
  1. Educational Goals and Learning Outcomes
  1. Learning Outcomes: Students will be able to:
    1. Distinguish different source types based on the intended audience, kind of information communicated, and purpose of the source.
    2. Use strategic exploration of a topic to develop a manageable research question.
  1. Modes of Teaching and Learning
    1. Librarian-led demonstration using instructor computer (no more than 60% of class time)
    2. Hands-on practice in groups or at student computers (at least 40% of class time)
    3. Class discussion

Revised 7/2019 MD

Common Handout

The Word document below is used in all Information Literacy I sessions (supplement to English Composition I) to provide students with a personalized research guide that they work on during the session and can use as a reference after the session.

Course Guide