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:
- Professional Organizations
- Google News
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:
- Filters to find different types of information
- Accessing full text
- Citation and permanent link tools
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.
- Were you surprised by anything you found?
- What questions do you have about your field that you didn’t have before?
- What was the most useful resource for you and why?
- Did you try anything that didn’t work? Why didn’t it work?
- Did you find different information from different places?
- Who created the information you found? Why was it created?
Exploring Information from Your Field
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
- Go to browzine.com/libraries/118 (a service provided by the MSU Libraries)
- Using the Browse Subjects feature, find a journal or two related to your major or the field you want to go into
- Browse through some of the articles from recent issues (2018 - present)
- What are the articles about? List a few examples:
- Are there any trends/similarities across the articles?
Professional Organization Website
- Use the Google search demonstrated in class: your profession/major + professional organization
- Find a professional organization
- See if you can find a news page, blog, newsletter, bulletin or other announcements related to the field
- What topics does the organization think are interesting to people in your field? List a few:
- Do you notice any trends/similarities in the news from the professional organization?
- Go to news.google.com
- 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
- How is your major/field being covered by news websites?
- Are news websites talking about the same or different topics than the journals and professional organizations you examined?
Most Interesting Topic(s)
- Which topic(s) above are you most curious about?
- Why are these topics interesting to you?