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Information Literacy & Library Instruction: Improving Student Research

Results From Project Information Literacy

Using data produced from Project Information Literacy (PIL), an ongoing research project, based in the University of Washington's Information School, that collects data from early adults enrolled in community colleges and public and private colleges and universities in the U.S. with the goal of understanding how early adults conceptualize and operationalize research activities for course work and "everyday life" use and especially how they resolve issues of credibility, authority, relevance, and currency in the digital age.

10 Ways to Improve Student Research

1. Encourage students to consult with a librarian.

2. Direct students towards a variety of library resources including print, electronic, and multimedia.

3. Suggest specific databases or other library resources by name to students.

4. Discuss what constitutes plagiarism as well as the consequences.

5. Review criteria for evaluating sources of information.

6. Define research.

7. Embed a research guide in Moodle and/or request a course-specific guide from your librarian.

8. Break the research assignment into manageable parts.

9. Explain how research will be evaluated.

10. Collaborate with librarians to design research assignments that address desired information literacy habits.