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Library Assignments for Critical Thinking and Information Literacy: Business

This guide is for faculty looking for inspired ideas for assignments that use library resources to engage student critical thinking skills and information literacy.

Specific Assignments

Below are some current examples of assignments from other insititutions that can be modified to suit your needs. Contact Diana Moore if you are interested in using one and would like a customized version.

Assignment Ideas

Alternatives to the Traditional Research Paper

Teaching effective information literacy and critical thinking skills isn't limited to traditional research paper assignments that require an increased amount of your time for grading.  Here are some alternative ideas:

  1. Prepare an annotated bibliography of sources on a specific topic in business.  
  In addition to asking students to include a bibliography at the end of their assignment, ask them to annotate the entries to  include information on how they found sources, what types of sources they are and how they are useful. They can also talk about the limitations of the material they found. This exercise sharpens students' search skills and critical evaluation abilities.

2. Analyze the content, style, and audience of two journals, newspapers or online resources. 
Ask students to select two sources, i.e., The Wall Street Journal vs. The Washington Post; Fox News vs. MSNBC; or The Nation vs. The National Review, and answer a set of questions about those sources relating to content, style and audience. 

3. Develop an ad campaign
Ask business students to develop a marketing plan for a potential advertisement campaign. They will need to research product reviews, conduct market research to identify demographic and financial information, review psychological research linked to advertising and consumer behavior, etc.

4. Compare and contrast two articles that present opposite points of view.
Ask students to compare and contrast two opposing viewpoints on a topic related to business.  Our Opposing Viewpoints and Issues and Controversies databases provide a wealth of topics with opposing perspectives.

Blogger Assignment

I am working on an assigment that uses Blogger to engage your students weekly over the entire semester.  Here is how it works:

  • Each week I post information a new topic (i.e., Scholarly Sources; Finding SWOT Analyses; Marketing Sources; etc.) and include required work by your students, which they then post as a comment on the blog. 
  • You give me a list of your students and the the value of the final score for the "Library Portion" of their class. 
  • At the end of the semester I provide you with a list of your students, their grade for the "Library Portion" assigned by me, and a rubric created by me which I used to base my grading. 
  • All you need to do is add it to their final score! So easy and so educational! 

I love partnering with faculty to facilitate information literacy and critical thinking skills in Palm Beach State College students, so let me know if you are interested.