Bronshteyn, Karen and Rita Baladad. "Librarians as Writing Instructors: Using Paraphrasing Exercises to Teach Beginning Information Literacy Students." The Journal of Academic Librarianship 32.5 (September 2006): 533-536.
Read in print.
This short article describes how to integrate paraphrasing exercises into information literacy classes. The authors present an exercise that can be implemented in fifteen minutes; it is something to add to library instruction sessions. The idea is to allow students to learn and practice how to paraphrase, a skill that will serve them well when it comes to evaluating information as well as citing it.
Some notes to remember:
- "A research project that does not contain any immediately recognizable elements of plagiarism is not necessarily an expression of the effective use of information nor is the correct answer on a multiple-choice quiz, since it does not prove that the student can replicate the technique" (534).
- "However, when paraphrasing exercises are used as a vehicle for teaching information literacy, it is important that the learning objectives are broadened beyond just finding and citing resources. Understanding and mastering the basic concepts of paraphrasing is key to evaluating and effectively using resources, two key tenets of information literacy" (534).
- First, they point out that the library literature contains many examples of librarians learning from and partnering with English instructors. Also, colleges now see information literacy as an objective for the whole campus. (535). In my case, getting to that point is still a dream, but I digress.
- Librarians can be on a preemptive role instead of remedial. We already do quite a bit of intervention in terms of reference and computer technicalities. Also, librarians that are involved in programs like First-Year seminars have a further incentive to do this.