information literacy

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This discussion will introduce you to the Ashford University (AU) Library and to give you some practice developing your research skills. You will find that what makes the AU Library unique, compared to other academic libraries, is that it is purely online and can be accessed at any time of the day or night.

You will be using the AU Library to search for a scholarly article and compare that article to a popular article. If you’re having a discussion with your friends and family, an article in Time or on the CNN website will work well enough as a reference. However, for your course work at Ashford, you will need to use scholarly sources (academic journals or books) to ensure factual accuracy.

The main point of this discussion is to notice the differences in the ways that scholarly articles and popular articles present information and to understand when each type of article is most appropriate.

Prepare.png Prepare:

Step 1: Digital Libraries
After reading Module 2 of your course text, spend a few minutes watching the following videos in order. Each video builds off the other and gradually increases your understanding of how a digital library is organized and functions.

Step 2: Popular and Scholarly Sources
Now, watch the GEN103 Scholarly & Popular Resources (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. video. After watching this video, you know the importance of carefully considering information and sources. Conduct an interesting comparison between the information found in a popular source and a scholarly source.

  • Select a topic that you are particularly interested in. Examples would be “the benefits of red wine,” “how genes influence disease,” “school lunches contribute to obesity,” “legalizing drugs will lead to lower crime,” etc.
  • Using the Internet, find an article on the topic you have chosen and carefully read it, taking time to notice the images included with article, how much detailed information is provided, what kind of evidence the author used, how the article is arranged and similar characteristics.

Step 3: Find a Scholarly Source from the Ashford University Library
Next, you will find a scholarly source related to the same topic in the Ashford University Library.

  • Using the FindIt@AU search box on the library home page, locate a scholarly research article on the same topic as the website that you found. Make sure you put a check in the box for scholarly/peer reviewed before clicking search when using the databases. Scholarly articles are often more challenging to read than popular articles. Take a few minutes to watch the Strategic Ways to Read Scholarly Articles (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. video (written transcript) and then examine and read the scholarly article, noticing how it is different from the popular article that you found online.


Reflect.png Reflect: Think about the differences between the popular source and the scholarly source that you found. Specifically consider the ways that the information was presented.
Write.png Write: Engage in this discussion by answering the questions below:

  • Summarize the topic you chose to research. Did you find that both article provided the same information on the topic?
  • What specific similarities and differences did you notice in the ways that the popular source you found on the Internet and the scholarly source you found in the Ashford University Library presented information?
  • Based on what you learned this week, when is a scholarly source more appropriate to use? When is a popular source, such as a news article, more appropriate?
  • What insights did you gain about the use of scholarly sources in an academic environment?

Be sure to include the correctly formatted APA references for both articles—the scholarly article from the Ashford University Library and the popular article that you found online–at the end of your discussion.
Your initial post should contain a minimum of 350 wordswritten in complete sentences. It must answer all aspects of the prompt (refer to “Think about it this way” below). It must be posted by 11:59 Thursday evening. Correctly cite the source of any information that you use in your posts.

Discuss.png Guided Response:

You must reply to at least two classmate. As you reply to your classmates, attempt to take the conversation further by examining their claims or arguments in more depth or responding to the posts that they make to you. Post your two peer responses during the week to maximize the opportunity for vigorous discussion.

Think about it this way…
This discussion is asking you to do seven things.

  • View the videos on the Ashford University Library and Scholarly and Popular Resources.
  • Select a topic of interest to research.
  • Locate a popular article on the Internet that discusses the topic you have chosen and read the information.
  • View the videos in Step 3 and locate a scholarly article about your topic in the Ashford University Library and read some of the content.
  • Answer the four questions listed under the “Write” section as your initial Discussion post.
  • Respond to at least two of your classsmates’ discussion posts.
  • Include the correct APA reference for both the popular and scholarly articles that you found for this discussion and be sure to correctly cite any sources that you use in your posts.
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