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Disciplinary Literacies - Exploration
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Library Workshop Outline - Disciplinary Literacies - Exploring a Major or Field of Study

This version of the Disciplinary Literacies library workshop is useful for cases where students are not researching a specific topic, but are tasked with exploring the information from their future field or major. These assignments often ask students to identify trends in their field, which is difficult if they do not have any grounding in their field’s information whatsoever. To that end, this workshop encourages broad exploration of different information sources.

Tour - 30 min

(Optional - can expand time for searching instead)

Exploring information - 45

Use worksheet (included at end)

Provide brief overview of:

Students work independently or in pairs to explore information following the directions on the worksheet. Circulate and talk to students as they work.

Library Search - 20 minutes

Solicit a topic example based on previous exploration

Show library Article Search with emphasis on:

Student will have time to do some searching on their own topics. Circulate.

Discussion - 15 minutes

Set aside some time at the end for discussion and debrief, or intersperse these questions throughout as students discover different types of information.

Exploring Information from Your Field

Three Strategies


Note: this is a good way to browse different journals from your field. If you want to search for articles on a topic use the Library’s Article Search

  1. Go to (a service provided by the MSU Libraries)
  2. Using the Browse Subjects feature, find a journal or two related to your major or the field you want to go into
  3. Browse through some of the articles from recent issues (2018 - present)

Professional Organization Website

  1. Use the Google search demonstrated in class: your profession/major  + professional organization
  2. Find a professional organization
  3. See if you can find a news page, blog, newsletter, bulletin or other announcements related to the field

Google News

  1. Go to 
  2. Search for your major or the field you want to go into. Alternately, search for one of the topics covered by one of the journals you browsed or your professional organization

Most Interesting Topic(s)

Created by Emilia Marcyk. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License