This week, I worked with an English 102 professor who requested that I design an library instruction session for his class which would help to underscore the ways in which research and sources are situated in academic disciplines. At first, I felt a little bit anxious…unsure as to how I could help freshmen students grasp this somewhat difficult concept. However, as I began to prepare my session I noticed how easily this could be accomplished utilizing the BEAM framework that is already embedded in UWM Libraries information literacy sessions. Particularly when discussing Argument and Method Sources, talking about the way that sources live within disciplines can actually make these concepts less confusing.
Similarly, I found this approach to be a great help in encouraging students to use Resources by Subject to find discipline specific databases. I demonstrated for the students how to navigate to the Resources by Subject Page, and then used it as a visual tool to explain how sources “live” within disciplines/subjects.
I asked the class questions like:
“Would an English scholar publish their work in the same places as an expert in Engineering?”
I encouraged students to think about what subject area their research topics were related to (underscoring that it might be multiple subject areas, in many cases). I then advised them to keep this in mind when selecting databases and journals.
A Discipline-Based Approach to Information Literacy