Critical Thinking & Information Literacy
Across the Curriculum
Using Library Resources & Evaluating Different Sources
Philosophy 115 Assignment 3:
The purpose of this assignment is to help acquaint studies with different library resources.
It also requires students to evaluate which sources will be useful given the nature of a
particular research topic. Students will be assigned to one of the following groups:
Group 1: You are looking at buying a new car, and you want to know what recent cars have
been recommended for safety, reliability, and price.
Group 2: You are assisting a researcher who is examining whether or not eating food rich
in vitamin E can lower the risk of heart disease. You need to find out what other studies
have been done on this topic.
Group 3: You are trying to plan a trip to Minneapolis for this summer, and you are trying
to figure out what you might be able to do there for fun when you go.
Group 4: You are thinking about writing a paper on the extent to which non-white women
were involved in the Suffrage Movement in the U.S. You want to find out what other
articles and books have been written on the subject.
Group 5: You are considering investing in the stock market for the first time. You
want to find a source that will provide you with information about stock quotes,
interest rates, stock offerings, and some tips for investing.
Group 6: You are working on a speech for your debate team. You are arguing that
the President ought not be given a salary increase. You want to find out the
President's current salary is so that you can put that in the speech.
Group 7: You are working for a political candidate who wants to know what public
opinion is concerning the death penalty. You want to find a source that will
provide you will information about this.
Group 8: You are a member of a local animal rights group. You want to find out
the names of the Seattle City Council members who voted for the circus ban, and
who voted against it, so that you will know who to vote for in the next election.
Each group will conduct a search on their assigned topic. They will need to determine
the best sources for finding out about their assigned topic. Groups will be required
to document their search, making sure they address the following questions:
What resources/databases did you use in your search?
If you did an electronic search, what search terms did you use?
What difficulties, if any, did you have in finding the information you needed?
How did you modify your search in an attempt to address those difficulties?
What sources on your topic did you ultimately find?
Did any of the sources appear to be more useful than others? Explain.
Each group will report their findings to the rest of the class.