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LIS2004 Research Strategies for College Students | Prof. Machado Dillon

This guide contains resources for students of Prof. Machado Dillon's LIS2004 course.
Week 1


Module 1: Topic Selection and Keywords


Monday, August 27

Discussion Board Post #1 - Student Introduction

Introduce yourself to the class. Your discussion board post should be two to three paragraphs in length and cover at least two of the following:

  • what you hope to learn in this class, now that you've read the syllabus
  • your major or program of study (or a major/career of interest to you, if you have not yet decided)
  • the job or career you aspire to have upon completion of your degree(s)
  • your favorite place to study
  • your favorite book
  • anything else (not too personal!) you'd like to share about yourself with the class

You are encouraged to respond to at least one classmate's post. Use good netiquette: be polite and positive in your responses.

Your initial student introduction discussion board post will be used to determine your attendance in this course.

Wednesday, August 29

Reading & Annotating #1

Week 2


Module 2: Information Ethics


Monday, September 3

No Class - Happy Labor Day

Wednesday, September 5

Reading & Annotating #2

Week 3


Module 3: The Information Cycle


Monday, September 10

Reading & Annotating #3

Module 2: Information Ethics and Module 3: The Information Cycle Assessment - due by the end of Week 3

Prepare for this 5 short essay question assessment by reviewing the materials under Module 2 and Module 3.

This assessment consists of five short essay questions. The assessment covers Module 2: Information Ethics and Module 3: The Information Cycle so be sure you have completed the readings and learning activities for both modules before you take the assessment.

This assessment consists of five short essay questions. Please write a paragraph (three to six sentences) for each of your answers. Each correct answer is worth up to three points. Partially correct/partially complete answers will receive partial credit.

  1. You are writing a research paper and you find a sentence in one of the sources you are using that sums up the point you want to make perfectly. How can you include or incorporate the sentence into your paper without plagiarizing? Describe what you will do.
  2. Describe an example of something you do not need to cite in a paper.
  3. You have been asked to give a presentation to your class about your future career. The PowerPoint or Prezi you are creating must include images. Describe how you will include images in your presentation ethically.
  4. A gunman fired shots at a Congressional baseball practice on June 14, 2017. What kinds of sources will have information about this incident first and why?
  5. Are you likely to find scholarly journal articles or books about the shooting at the Congressional baseball practice on June 14, 2017 available today? Why or why not?

Wednesday, September 12

Reading & Activity

School of Thought - Logical Fallacies

Week 4


Module 4: Evaluating Information Sources


Monday, September 17

Reading & Activity

School of Thought - Your Bias Is

Wednesday, September 19

Reading & Annotating #4

Look at the following 2 websites:

Using the information you learned from Module 4, make notes on both sites explaining which of these 2 sites is better for research on climate change?

Remember you are evaluating the sources using the CRAAP method…I am not asking for your personal views about climate change. Your notes and responses to fellow students must be detailed and contain elements of your evaluation.


Evaluating Websites Activity

Week 5


Module 4: Evaluating Information Sources (continued)


Monday, September 24

Module 4 Assignment - due by the end of Week 5

For this assignment you will use your topic, thesis statement or research question, and keywords to search Google for three sources. You will evaluate each using the RADAR criteria. At least two of the sources you submit must pass the RADAR test according to your assessment of the source. One source may fail the RADAR criteria assessment, but you must still explain why it failed and is not a good choice for you to use in a college paper. Choose at least two quality, relevant sources because you can then use them for your Final Course Project. For each source, provide the URL and give a pass/fail and explanation of why you assessed each of the five RADAR criteria (rationale, authority, date, accuracy, and relevance) as pass or fail to describe why the source passed (or failed) your evaluation.


Thesis statement or research question:

Source #_:


Rationale: Pass or Fail; Explanation:

Authority: Pass or Fail; Explanation:

Date: Pass or Fail; Explanation:

Accuracy: Pass or Fail; Explanation:

Relevance: Pass or Fail; Explanation:

Wednesday, September 26

Guest Speaker: Dr. Valda Adeyiga with a presentation on Banned Books Week

A Pop-Up Library with Banned and Challenged book titles will also be brought to class. Have your Student ID with you so that you can checkout any titles of interest.

Week 6


Module 5: Searching Library Databases


Monday, October 1

Module 5 Assignment - due by the end of Week 6

Use Academic Search Complete to find 3 articles on your topic. One will be a newspaper article, one will be an academic journal article, and one will be a magazine article. You will provide the citations of each article as well as your search terms and any limiters you set. You will write a discussion board post reflecting on your search.

Copy and paste the following into a document and save as [your last name]-database-assignment. Submit through Blackboard. Don't forget to add your name and date to your document.

  1. This is a/an ___________________ article.
    1. My search term(s) are:
    2. My limiters (if any) are:
    3. The MLA citation for this article:
  2. This is a/an ___________________ article.
    1. My search term(s) are:
    2. My limiters (if any) are:
    3. The MLA citation for this article:
  3. This is a/an ___________________ article.
    1. My search term(s) are:
    2. My limiters (if any) are:
    3. The MLA citation for this article:

Wednesday, October 3

Discussion Board Post #2

After completing the Module 5: Searching Library Databases Assignment, what sorts of issues did you encounter while searching? How did your search terms change for each article type? What other information do I need to know about your search?

Week 7


Module 6: Documentation - The Value of Information


Monday, October 8

Module 6 In-Class Learning Activity 1: Anatomy of Citations and 2: APA and MLA Resources

Activity 1 links and Activity 2 details available in Module 6 page.

Review Final Course Project: Annotated Bibliography - due by the end of Week 7

Construct an annotated bibliography using five sources which support your topic and thesis statement/research question. The annotated bibliography will consist of accurate and complete citations in APA or MLA style for each source with an annotation describing why the source is suitable and relevant. The annotated bibliography should adhere to the formatting standards for the style guide used.

  1. Determine which citation style you should use for the annotated bibliography: APA or MLA, by using the citation style used by the discipline related to your topic and thesis statement/research question. Remember: APA style is used primarily by disciplines in the social sciences, health, and education fields while the MLA style is used primarily by disciplines in the arts, humanities, and literature. Use one style consistently throughout the annotated bibliography.
  2. Include your topic and thesis statement/research question.
  3. Find five different sources that you think provide the most authoritative information about your topic and support or refute your thesis statement/research question. At least two of the five sources must be articles from the Miami Dade College Library databases. Up to three of the five sources may be from the Web. One source may be an eBook from the Miami Dade College Library collection.
  4. Use the RADAR checklist and what you've learned about evaluating sources in this course to evaluate all sources retrieved. Once you have chosen five sources (at least two scholarly database articles and three other sources), use the course information provided to construct citations for each source in Word. Pay close attention to the proper placement of punctuation and italics. You will lose points if your material is not cited properly. This is virtually impossible to do without using the APA or MLA LibGuide so please use it.
  5. Beneath each citation, include an annotation describing the source, why you chose it, its relevance to your thesis statement/research question, and how you know it's a good source appropriate for college level work (rationale, authority, date, accuracy, relevance). Three to four sentences for each annotation will suffice.

A rubric for grading, an APA template, an MLA template, an APA Sample Project, and an MLA Sample Project are included. Please download/view, read, and use these documents in completing your assignment.


Wednesday, October 10

Work on Final Course Project: Annotated Bibliography - due by the end of the week

Week 8

Monday, October 15

Final Exam

Wednesday, October 17

Online Scavenger Hunt

Discussion Board Post #3

Watch the following video and reflect on it in a discussion board post. Your discussion board post should be two to three paragraphs in length and include some of the following:

  • What are your thoughts regarding what the speaker is talking about?
  • What do you agree with as well as disagree with?
  • How important do you think Critical Thinking really is in your day-to-day life as well as in college? Provide details.
  • Is there something that comes to mind that this talk or this class has made you rethink or reexamine?
  • Do you feel you have had moments of self-awareness? What were they?

Make-up Work

Opportunity to work on and complete a previously unsubmitted assignment.