FYS and Library Assignment Ideas
Table of Contents
Fall Semester - "Introduction to Information Literacy at your Library"
- Make the library tour collaborative: assign pairs or individuals to explore & learn about a specific bit of one of the library buildings or website or database, and have them report on it to the class. Challenge them to discover something new to YOU (or to the librarian)
- If you do not do a tour of each library, have your students go to the opposite library and do a “self tour” or have them spend two hours studying at the opposite library. Have them write about their experience. Or assign this as a group project, challenging the students to discover something that maybe the other groups didn’t know.
- Have them email the librarian before the tour with questions they may have about the library and its services.
- Brainstorm good questions when presenting an assignment to a librarian, in person or with Ask Us! (MEEBO). Have them role play asking for help, describing the assignment to a friend, or to another professor.
- Have the students get a librarian to sign off on any assignment that requires use of the libraries.
- Have groups explore the library’s website and report on different parts for one another.
- Research an historical topic using newspapers from New York Times and London Times. Contrast point of view.
- Use a major newspaper from one of the databases listed below to find an article published on the date of their birth. Determine: name of the president; major national issue or concern; name of significant entertainer, etc. (While we don’t have the Record listed, we do have archives of all old issues so they could find an article regarding the campus on their date of birth – this (The Record) is becoming available online).
- Everyone becomes an historical figure for a day. Students research the person, time-period, culture, etc. Have them use AP Images.
- Or another take on the above assignment would be to have them write the opening chapter for a historical novel, whereby they must research daily routine, customs, eating habits, rituals, dress, social status and other pertinent information related to a particular time period.
- Locate at least two lengthy reviews of books, films, recordings, etc., connected to the course. Compare the two reviews and discuss any biases displayed by the reviewers, as well as any misrepresentations or inaccuracies you find in the review. (JSTOR or Academic Search Premier)
- Research a topic using information published in different decades. Compare the changes that have occurred. (Reader’s Guide Retrospective or possibly Academic Search Premier)
- Locate a popular magazine article and a scholarly article on the same subject. Compare the two articles for content, style, bias, audience, etc. (Academic Search Premier)
- Find a scholarly article, read it closely, create a glossary of unfamiliar topics from the article, and create an abstract in "plain English." (JSTOR – completely full-text and scholarly)
- Compare coverage of the same topic in:
- Reference books, news sources, journals, the open web, government documents, BLOGs, YouTube
- Start with a news source and flesh out the journalist’s research: identify the original sources used, prepare a bibliography
- Trace an important citation forward in time
- (Citation patterns, scholarly conversations)
- Update a good bibliography of literature review that relates to research topic
- Prepare a literature review for both sides of an argument
- Write a scholarly review of a key article or book for research topic
- (Summarizing, analyzing and evaluating sources)
- Contextualize and/or identify the opposing views to a political cartoon, editorial opinion, iconic photograph, or advertisement
- Forecast the future of a specific controversy