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Library Instruction for Basic Expository Writing and English Composition

Instructional session on basic research methods, search strategies & concepts, information evaluation & citation methods

Jeffrey Wheeler

on 24 October 2017

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Transcript of Library Instruction for Basic Expository Writing and English Composition

Library Instruction for Basic
Expository English Writing


Identifying a Topic
Preliminary Research & Focusing
Identifying Concepts, Terms & Disciplines
Developing a Search Strategy
Synonym Mapping
Field Searching
Subject Terms
Limiting Your Search
Finding Your Materials
Evaluating Information Sources
Citing Your Sources & Writing the Bibliography

What interests you?

What do you care about?

Identifying a Topic
Related Disciplines & Subjects:
How broad is your topic?

Can you write your topic as a single statement or question?

What do I want to know, demonstrate, or argue about this topic?
What kinds of experts would know about your topic?
What disciplines or fields of knowledge would be the most interested in this topic?
Subject & Course Guides
Encyclopedias / Dictionaries
Subject Filters
Preliminary Research
What is the issue?

Who is affected by the issue?

How are they affected by it?

What factors affect this issue?
Focusing Your Topic
What might contribute to the problem or minimize it?
In what ways does it change their lives, their surroundings, or their circumstances?
Related Concepts

Disciplines / Ways to Approach the Issue

Concept Mapping
Library Website

Library of Congress Subject Headings http://id.loc.gov/authorities/subjects.html
Developing Your Search Strategy
Boolean Operators
Electronic Database Searching
Electronic Databases

Web Sources
AND: Find only books & articles with both/all terms or phrases

OR: Find books & articles containing either of the terms of phrases

NOT: Only find books & articles that don't contain certain words or phrases
Proximity Operators
Electronic Database Searching
Combining Operators
W#: Find only books & articles containing your second term within a certain number of words from your first, IN THAT ORDER

N#: Find only books & articles with the two terms within a certain number of words of each other IN ANY ORDER
Combine multiple operators in a single search string:

("Fracking" OR "Shale") AND ("Pollution" OR "Water Quality")
Electronic Database Searching
Field Searching
Electronic Database Searching
Search All-Text, Title, Author, People, Abstract
Subject Terms
Limiting Your Search
Type of Work
Type of Publication
Scholarly (Peer-Reviewed) Publications Only
Full-Text Access Only
Who published the work?

Who is the author? What are his / her credentials?

Does the author cite other peer-reviewed research?

When was the article published?
Evaluating Information Sources
How do they qualify him/her to write about the subject
How important for your topic is it for information to be current?
Who is the intended audience?

What is the purpose of the work?

Does the author acknowledge his/her biases?
Evaluating Information Sources
To inform or to persuade?
Chicago, MLA, or APA style citations
Citing Your Sources
Bibliography or Works Cited page & In-Text Citations
Consult Library Website's Citing Sources page
Finding Materials
Full-Text Access
Consult Library Catalog to check book & journal holdings
Inter-Library Loan
Utilize & cite your sources

Examine relationships between your topic and affected groups, causes & effects

Develop your arguments
Write the Essay!
Community College of Philadelphia Library Faculty. Library Web Site . 2012. Library Web Site. 5 October 2012 <http://library.ccp.edu>

State University of New York University at Albany. User Education: Instruction and Tutorials . 2011. University Libraries: University at Albany. 3 October 2012 <http://library.albany.edu/usered/tut/resources/r5.html>

Information Literacy Committee of the Wisconsin Association of Academic Libraries. Information Literacy Activities . 2011. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries. 3 October 2012 <http://www4.uwm.edu/libraries/ris/instruction/ip/>
Works Consulted
Thinking About Your Topic
Broader Terms / Narrower Terms
Use the “*” character before the suffix to your term to find terms that begin similarly (“pollut*” for “pollute,” “pollution,” “polluter(s),” etc.)
Use the “?” character in the middle of a word to find one-letter variations for your term (“wom?n” will find “woman,” and “women”)
Are there other disciplines that might address it from another perspective?
Scholarly? Popular?
Images taken from Microsoft Office Word 2010 Clip Art.
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