Skip to Main Content
Return to Library Homepage

First Year Seminars - Information Literacy Resources: Determine

Outcome 1. Determine

Determine when information is needed and find it efficiently using a variety of reference sources.

Use the menu below to jump to an assignment idea.

All about the Numbers

Assignment Description: Request students research statistics on a particular topic using The Roper Center for Public Opinion iPoll database or ask them to research basic facts about Poughkeepsie or their hometown in United States Census American Fact Finder

Result: Students learn about sources not included in Fox Hunt and gain experience in accessing different forms of data.

Outcomes Met: "Determine" and "Access"

Annotated Bibliography

Assignment Description:   Students prepare an annotated bibliography on a research topic.  Set a minimum number of sources to be included in the annotated bibliography and identify the different types of sources that should be included such as primary and secondary sources or scholarly journal articles and books.  In each annotation, ask students to evaluate the author, publisher and address any bias in the work.   

Result:  Students practice using library databases, learn about different source types, learn to organize and cite sources.

Outcomes Met: "Determine," "Access," "Evaluate" and "Obtain"

Concept Map

Assignment Description: Select a topic and create a concept map as a class or ask students to create their own. 

Result: Students learn to develop search terms and brainstorm as part of the research process.

Outcomes Met: "Determine"

Database Investigation

Assignment Description: Using the databases on your course guide or on a subject guide, assign a database to a group.  Ask them to evaluate the search interface, content, publisher, subject areas, and account features. Students do a short presentation on their findings.

Result: Students gain in depth knowledge of library databases and when to utilize them.

Outcomes Met: "Determine," "Access," "Evaluate," and "Obtain"

Planning Research

Assignment Description:  Based on  a research question provided to the students, ask them what sources of information are needed to effectively answer the question.   Students must then create an action plan listing how they will search for these sources, including search terms and appropriate Library databases and resources.

Result: Students think critically about their research process.

Outcomes Met: "Determine" and "Access"

Primary, Secondary & Tertiary

Assignment Description: Students are given several sources to evaluate on a given topic or event.  They must determine if the sources are primary, secondary or tertiary.  How would they use these types of sources in a research paper?  

Result: Students learn to identify primary, secondary, and tertiary sources.

Outcomes Met: "Determine" and "Evaluate"

Using Ebook Central Effectively

Assignment Description: As part of a research assignment ask students to locate a book in Ebook Central, the library’s ebook database.  Students should utilize tools within Ebook Central including the Ebook Central bookshelf, highlighting and notetaking functions. Students can view Ebook Central tutorials prior to starting the assignment.

Result:  Students learn how to access electronic materials and maintain this access.

Outcomes Met: "Determine" and "Obtain"

Wikipedia vs. Traditional Encyclopedias

Assignment Description: Select a topic related to the course topic or of the student’s choice. Ask students to find background information on the topic using first Wikipedia and an encyclopedia from the Marist Library  (Britannica Academic, Gale Virtual Reference Library, Print Encyclopedias). Ask students to compare the two sources’ content and credibility. Who were the authors? What are their credentials? Are there any useful additional features?

Result: Students learn the importance of background information when beginning research and apply evaluation skills to reference sources.

Outcomes Met: "Determine," "Access," "Evaluate" and "Obtain"