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English Library Instruction: Choosing Information

Introduction to Formats

This lesson was first developed for Prof. Luke Vaileiou's ENG 101 in October 2019. It breaks down formats by product, process, and purpose in order to clarify when to use particular formats of information. 

Slides available here:

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Lesson Plan Idea

Small group - choosing information (Galina, Thomas, Derek, Ann M.)

Book referred to:

Burkhardt, Joanna M. Teaching Information Literacy Reframed: 50+ Framework-Based Exercises for Creating Information-Literate Learners. Chicago : ALA Neal-Schuman, 2016. Print.

Chapter used: Searching as Strategic Exploration or Research as Inquiry

Theme: developing a topic - from topic to research question

Lesson plan: narrowing a topic


  1. seeking background info and identifying a topic
  2. formulating a research question from a narrowed topic

Narrowing a topic exercise

1- Introducing encyclopedias for background research, identifying keywords > developing a research question

2- Showing GVRL - showing them a general topic search, then how to narrow down. Topic finder example is helpful - examination of how this search tool works and how it visualizes the search process effectively; comparison with subject guide search, which brings up related subject headings, scanning controlled vocabulary with keyword(s) entered (less useful for this exercise)

3- Asking students to write down 2 possible research questions. Alternative approach: creating a concept map exercise


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