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English Department Research Scaffold: Home

Ideas to incorporate information literacy instruction in research-intensive course.

FYS Information Literacy Program

Dear Faculty,

This English Department Research Scaffold is designed to help you smoothly and seamlessly incorporate research instruction throughout your 200- and/or 300-level courses.  This scaffold should be used with students who are likely to be embarking on their first major research project for the English major, and with those who need refreshers in foundational skills.

Most of the exercises and tasks will take only a few minutes of students' time, but will save you time both during your planning process and in the classroom. These lessons are intended to teach skills that, based upon many years of observation, students entering upper-level English courses tend to be lacking.  All lessons are customizable. They are designed so that students can review lessons as necessary, or that individual students who are already familiar with a given skill can skip the lesson. 

The work should complement your normal classroom activity and help students become independent, proactive researchers. Your librarian can assist at any stage of this process and visit with your class when their research needs become specialized or requires instruction that is not conveyed via these tutorials.

Librarians are also available to consult individually with students. Students and faculty can use Ask a Librarian to contact their librarian for assistance.

As you read through the scaffold, please keep the following in mind:

  • Review fair use guidelines when assigning readings. More information can be found on our Copyright and Fair Use Guide

  • Make requests for instruction at least two weeks in advance to allow for adequate preparation and set up.  

  • Print copies of the MLA Handbook are on reserve in the library. The eBook version and samples of citations in the MLA style can be found on the library’s Citing Sources guide.

Ask a Librarian

Text us: 717-366-6623
Librarians by Department

Circulation desk: 717-245-1397

Goals of Research Instruction in the English Major

Prior to enrolling in their 400-level workshop course, students should be able to:

  • Identify different types of sources and how they are used in literary research
  • Efficiently use research databases
  • Obtain relevant primary and secondary sources for literary research
  • Analyze research resources and incorporate them into their own work
  • Understand the use and importance of accurate citation
  • Cite a variety of sources accurately in the MLA style
  • Develop and refine a research question