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NOTE:  This online syllabus can be accessed through the "Information Literacy" link on the library home page at  All readings and assignments are accessed from links on this online syllabus (scroll down this page)


IMPORTANT NOTE: The student is responsible for all information contained in this syllabus.


   Unit I: Introduction, Organization, & Methods
8/27  1.   Introduction & Overview
8/29  2.   Bibliography & the Term Project   (reading 1)     
9/3        (LABOR DAY HOLIDAY)      
9/5        LAB

 3.   Strategy & Information Formats   (reading 2)  (assignment 1 due)

9/12  4.   Classification & Documentation   (reading 3)
9/17  5.   Critical Evaluation    (reading 4)
9/19  6.   Annotating
9/24  7.   Keyword Searching, Part I   (reading 5) 
9/26  8.   Keyword Searching, Part II
10/1         LAB

 9.   Evaluation Revisited, Authorship    (assignment 2 due)

10/8 10.   Evaluation Revisited, Content     
10/10        LAB
10/15        Review Lab, Unit I    (assignment 3 due)
10/17        (EXAM, UNIT I)
  Unit II: Information Resources
10/22 11.   The Library Catalog   (reading 6)
10/24          LAB
10/29 12.   Mid-term Review    (assignment 4 due)        
10/31 13.   Internet, Part I    (reading 7)
11/5 14.   Internet, Part II
11/7         LAB        
11/12 15.   Periodical Databases, Part I   (reading 8)     (assignment 5 due)
11/14 16.   Periodical Databases, Part II
11/19         LAB      
11/21 17.   Government Publications, U.S. Federal     (assignment 6 due)
11/26 18.   Government Publications, State & International          
11/28         LAB     
12/3 19.   Reference Sources    (assignment 7 due)
          (deadline for turning in any late assignments)       
12/5         Free Lab


checkmarkFINAL EXAM   (Thursday, December 13, 12:00-2:00 p.m.)



key in lock Office:  Stewart Library, room 139A
phone Office Phone:  626-7187  (voice mail)
Home Phone:  (801) 392-6860
letter E-mail:    


Due to the varied time and location schedule associated with my assignment, regular office hours are not feasible.  Personal consultation sessions may be arranged by contacting me through any of the means listed above.


All students are expected to open and maintain their Wildcat email account.  You should check your email daily so that you do not miss any important messages from the instructor.


There is no textbook for this course but you will need to purchase a package of 3" x 5" index cards

(preferably white) and a folder with a pocket inside the front flap for turning in the midterm exercise and the term project.  Some assignments require attached computer prints and/or photocopies.  Up to 150 computer prints are free on your wildcard.  Photocopies cost 5 cents per page.


The course offers a practical approach to the understanding and utilization of library materials and services through skills development in five areas: locating, retrieving, evaluating, documenting, and presenting information.


The world of information is changing at an ever increasing rate, due mainly to the advent of the Computer Age.  Information literacy, including computer skills, is essential for success in today's world. 

"Instructional programs are designed to prepare students for immediate employment or further study, at the same time equipping them through liberal education for lifelong learning in a changing world."       -- from WSU Mission Statement


Each student achieves basic information literacy and a working level of proficiency in the utilization of library-based information resources for academic success and lifelong learning.


1.  Given the resources of the WSU libraries and a research topic of the student's choice, the student applies a systematic plan to successfully locate, evaluate, and document useful information.

2.  The student organizes the information retrieved into a formal bibliography on the chosen topic, with each entry correctly documented, described, and evaluated.


A typical session consists of lecture combined with discussion, incorporating the projection of visuals on a large screen.  Lab sessions are hands-on, dedicated to the use of computers and library materials, and provide time

for the completion of assignments which emphasize writing, accuracy, and critical thinking in research.


Any student requiring accommodations or services due to a disability must contact Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) in room 181 of the Student Services Center.  SSD can also arrange to provide course materials (including this syllabus) in alternative formats if necessary.


The final grade will be determined on the basis of total points earned in three categories.  There are 2,000 regular points possible and a maximum of 80 bonus points possible.  Each category is weighted as follows:

Exams  (35%)
     Two examinations  (300 points each)

     Quizzes  (100 points total)

Assignments  (35%)
     7 assignments  (100 points each)

Term Project  (30%)
     Annotated bibliography w/cards  (600 points)

At term's end all points in all categories will be tallied and a grade awarded according to the following table:

      % of Pts.

      below   54



You must earn a C- to pass Part D of the WSU Computer and Information Literacy Requirement.


Attends every class session. Discusses foreseen absences with the instructor beforehand.

Makes certain all course content is received.  When absent or late, s/he obtains a copy of lecture notes from a classmate or contacts the instructor.  Takes thorough lecture notes.

Submits all work on time.  Notifies the instructor beforehand of any foreseen problems.

Makes sure all instruction and course requirements are understood.  
Understands that the student has an obligation to ask for help.  Makes contact with the instructor quickly to discuss any unclear concepts, directions, requirements, etc. and does not proceed until the assignment is fully understood.

Accomplishes all required course work.  Submits no unanswered exercise questions or incomplete projects.

Accepts critical feedback.  Has a positive attitude toward learning and knowledge.  Realizes that mistakes are an important part of learning, and seeks to learn from them.

Is self-motivated and committed to effort, quality, learning, and the value of diversity. Does not seek to find excuses.  Is not satisfied with "just getting by" but takes the initiative to expand his writing and critical inquiry skills beyond the minimum requirements and discover much on his own.  Shows respect for the diversity of others by interacting with and learning from them.

Writes in correct English.  Realizes that grammatically correct English is expected of all university students.  Assistance is available at the Writing Center, room 261 of the Student Services Center.  International students are especially encouraged to make use of this service.

Is respectful of the instructor.  Does not sleep, do printing, move about the classroom, or visit with classmates while the instructor is presenting.  Arrives to class on time.  Is fair and truthful, yet constructive in the written comments given on course or instructor evaluations.


Is Available for one-on-one consultation.

Provides a comfortable learning environment.

Is organized and presents content clearly.

Encourages students to discuss and ask questions any time.

Treats each student with concern and respect.


Written Assignments.  Exercises are designed to involve students directly with information resources in a practical way.  About one-third of the time will be given to lab sessions for completing work.  Each assignment is designed to provide maximum learning value if completed as nearly as possible to the time it is assigned.  Any questions concerning an assignment should be resolved before the assignment is turned in.  Once submitted, the score will stand.  However, students are encouraged to discuss questions about the score with the instructor.  Scores may be negotiated and changed if justified.  Students are encouraged to collaborate and help one another complete assignments. The last regular class session of the semester is the deadline for turning in assignments for credit.

Exams.  Questions will be drawn from readings, assignments, and guides.  The midterm exam covers unit I, and the final exam covers unit II.   Exams must be taken at the date and time scheduled.  Any exceptions must be cleared in advance with the instructor.

Term Project.  The specifications and requirements will be discussed in a separate class session.  They are also available in guide 2.  The project consists of an annotated bibliography including bib and note cards.

Readings.  Reading assignments can only be accessed from the online version of the syllabus from links under the "READINGS" section.  Instructions for each reading assignment include a list of content items for study focus as well as a list of self-test questions.  Reading assignments and their instructions are found at the end of both print and online versions of the syllabus.  Readings are designed to supplement lectures and prepare students to discuss the associated topic on the date scheduled on the syllabus.


Deadlines.  Assignments are always due at the session following the lab.  Late assignments will always be accepted, but late penalties will be assessed.  A 10% penalty is assessed on assignments turned in during the first week overdue; an additional 5% will be assessed for each additional week overdue.  Assignments will receive no credit if submitted past the final deadline for submitting assignments, which is the last regular class session of the semesterThe term project is due when you come to take the final exam.  You have till the end of the following semester to retrieve your projects, and are encouraged to do so as they may prove useful in other courses.  For Stewart Library students they will be available for retrieval at the Stewart Library reference desk, and for Davis Campus students they will be available at the Davis Campus Library.  No project will be accepted after the final exam.

Attendance.   No attendance record is kept.  However, at the instructor's discretion attendance patterns may be considered in figuring the final grade when point totals fall near the dividing line between grades.

Participation.  Participation in class discussions may be used at the instructor's discretion in figuring the final grade when the point total falls near the dividing line between grades.

Extra Credit, Make-up Work, Re-submissions.  No provision has been made for these unless otherwise specified by the instructor.  However, scores or grades will be adjusted for errors made by the instructor in scoring.  Opportunities are provided to earn up to a maximum of 80 bonus points through special activities, exercises, and pop quizzes.


Man Reading Newspaper  


Gibaldi, Joseph.  MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers.  6th ed.

New York: MLA, 2003.

(Available at Library Reference Desks)


Additional Useful Links:

     Finding books

     Finding articles





1. Do NOT do any assignments or quizzes within readings.

2. Click and study all links within readings.

3. Do NOT send in answers to questions or exercises.

4. Stop at the bottom of a page that says "continue".

5. Print out a copy of each reading for future reference.

6. Some exam questions will be taken from the readings, so

keep track of information mentioned in notes 3 and 5.

These items are to be done for your own personal study but

are not to be handed in.


Reading 1  Selecting a Research Topic

What to Study:

"Selecting a Research Topic" (also do "Exercises")

Find the answers to these important questions:

Where or how can I find ideas for a topic?

Where can I get background information to more clearly understand my topic?

How do I focus my topic so that it is not too broad or not too narrow?

What are keywords and how do I use them?

Reading 2  Types of information sources and formats

What to Study:

"From Information to Publication" (also do "Exercises")

Left-hand side link: "Primary versus Secondary Information"

Find the answers to these important questions:

What are the advantages of each of the following information formats over the other formats?

           audio/visuals       government documents        popular magazines

                books                      microforms                        newspapers

              websites               scholarly journals                reference tools

What are some differences between primary sources and secondary sources?

Reading 3  MLA Citation Style 

What to Study:

"Documenting Sources" 

Left-hand side link: "MLA Style" (study all examples and notes)

Find the answers to these important questions:

What are two important reasons for documenting sources?

How should the Works Cited list be ordered?

How are MLA citations indented?

How should multiple authors or editors be cited? (include how you would cite more than three)

What information and markings in a citation distinguish a popular article from a scholarly article?

What items of information must be added to the citation of an online article found through a library database?

What should be included in a newspaper citation when the place of publication is not well known?

What is a "corporate author"?

What two pieces of information do Internet citations always show that other citations do not?

If you cannot find an example of a citation that fits your case, what can you do?

Reading 4  Critically Evaluating Information

What to Study:

"Critically Evaluating Information" (also do "Exercise")

Find the answers to these important questions:

Why are critical evaluation skills important?

What are examples of evaluation criteria and how would you use them to evaluate sources?

Reading 5  Creating Search Statements

What to Study:

"Creating Search Statements Using Keywords and Controlled Vocabulary" (also do "Exercise")

Left-hand side link: "Boolean Logic"

Find the answers to these important questions:

What is a search statement?

What are two good ways to select keywords on your topic?

What are the three Boolean operators and how does each affect the search?

What is truncation, and how does it affect the search?

What is the advantage of phrase searching?

What marks are used to indicate a phrase in a search statement?

Where can you go to find out how to use the search techniques offered in the database you are using?

Reading 6
  Using Library Catalogs

What to Study:

"Using Library Catalogs to Find Books"

Find the answers to these important questions:

What are the purposes of a library catalog?

What is NOT included in a library catalog?  What tools do you use to find these items?

What are two general ways to search or browse the library catalog?

When should you use one way over the other?

What items of information are usually found in a catalog record?

If the book you want cannot be found in the catalog, what library service can you use to get it?

How is the location of an item in the library identified?

How are items physically arranged in the library?

Reading 7  The Internet

NOTE:  The underlined study statements below are links and must be clicked on separately

to access the information.

What to Study:

"What is the Internet?"

"Using Internet Search Engines to Find Web Sites" (also do "Exercise")

"Web Tools & Techniques" and the following left-hand side links:

     "Collaborative publishing: Blogs, RSS, & Wikis"

     "Instant Communication"

     "Google Innovations"

Find the answers to these important questions:

Who is in charge of all networks connected to the internet?

Why should you be especially careful when using Web sites?

Why should you learn to use several search engines?

What are two ways to search with a search engine, and how does each way work?

What are two advantages of a directory search?

In what two ways does Web publishing today differ from the way publishing was done in the past?

What are blogs and wikis and how can they be useful tools for you the researcher?

How could RSS be of help to you in your research?

What big advantage do IM, VoIP, and videoconferencing technologies have over email?

What is one new Google enhancement?

Reading 8  Using Article Databases

NOTE:  The underlined study statement below is a link and must be clicked on separately

to access the information.

What to Study:

"Scholarly versus Popular Information"

"Using Article Databases to Find Articles"

Find the answers to these important questions:

What are some differences between scholarly sources and popular sources?

What is the main purpose of an article database?

What are two other names for article databases?

What is the difference between a database and a database vendor?


Back to Beginning of LS 2201 Syllabus

Updated May 3, 2007.  Please email comments to Art Carpenter at:
Weber State University, Stewart Library. Copyright © 2016 All Rights Reserved.

Stewart Library - Weber State University - Ogden, Utah 84408. (801) 626-6403 - Copyright © 2008 ALL Rights Reserved