Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Reading, Research, and Writing: Teaching Information Literacy with Process-Based Research Assignments

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Reading, Research, and Writing: Teaching Information Literacy with Process-Based Research Assignments

Article excerpt

Reading, Research, and Writing: Teaching Information Literacy with Process-Based Research Assignments. By Mary Snyder Broussard. Chicago: ACRL, 2017. 140 p. Paper. $40 (ISBN: 978-0-8389-8875-6).

Research papers are ubiquitous in college, as common for freshmen as they are for seniors. To support these assignments, librarians typically have been limited to "gohere-click-that" one-shot sessions. Frequently, the results are faculty who are unhappy with the quality of student papers and librarians who are frustrated that they cannot contribute more to student learning and success. Reading, Research, and Writing takes scholarship from psychology, education, library science, and rhetoric and communication and, in six concise chapters, demonstrates that focusing on the messy process of research, rather than its product, leads to better learning outcomes. To keep the spotlight firmly on this untidy process, the phrase "writing from sources" rather than "research paper" is used throughout the book.

Library instruction sessions often teach a linear strategy of finding, evaluating, and using information, but this is far from the true process of writing from sources, which is "frustrating and iterative" (26). Two chapters devoted to writing address ways to reduce students' frustration as they draft their assignments. The first of these chapters presents the strategy of "low-stakes writing." Outlines, annotated bibliographies, and concept maps are examples of how faculty can divide research and writing into segments that are more manageable for students. The second of these chapters examines high-stakes writing, focusing on the research assignment itself and presenting ways that librarians can work with faculty to redesign assignments. …

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