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Information Literacy for Junior Year Writing

By Isabel Espinal, Librarian for Information Literacy, UMass Amherst

The What and Why of Information Literacy

Information literacy is a crucial set of abilities for successful academic and professional writing. Information literacy encompasses the ability to recognize when information is needed and how to locate, evaluate, and effectively use information in writing and other contexts.

There are various reasons for including library instruction/information literacy in Junior Year Writing:

  1. Good writing is always informed by the literature of the field and by published evidence.

  2. Students need to be introduced to how real practitioners and scholars in their chosen fields write – both how they write and what they write about.

Students need to learn how to access and make effective use of this vast literature. They need to become familiar with the indexing databases and reference sources and search strategies in their majors and for their future professions.

The How: Work With the Librarian Assigned to Your Department

The Library has subject specialist librarians for each department who can help you teach information literacy to your students. To find your Subject Specialist, see www.library.umass.edu/reference/liaisons.html

Your department liaison librarian can:

Some Ways to Incorporate Information Literacy into Junior Year Writing Classes

Special Library Resources Available to Assist Student and Faculty with Research in Junior Year Writing


Updated September 3, 2008


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