thing 10: Searching as Strategic Exploration

Recommended Readings, Resources, and Examples

Simmons, M. H. (2005). Librarians as disciplinary discourse mediators: Using genre theory to move toward critical information literacy. portal: Libraries and the Academy, 5(3), 297-311.

Choose Your Own Adventure Activity

Select one of the following activities to complete:

  1. Locate an example of an article or lesson plan that describes an approach to teaching using the frame Searching as Strategic Exploration. In a comment, post a link to the article or lesson plan (or a citation if paywalled) along with a short summary of what you read. How could you adapt or build upon this approach at your own institution?
  2. Drawing inspiration from one of the recommended readings, draft your own lesson plan related to the frame Searching as Strategic Exploration. Upload your lesson plan to Project CORA and/or the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy Sandbox, and post a link to it in a comment.

One comment

  1. The video, “One Perfect Source,” from the ACRL IL Sandbox (, is a good example of helping students to get out of the mindset that “I can only use stuff from this source…” or of trying to find just one source that will entirely cover their research need.

    I would adapt at my institution by including a handout for students to brainstorm keywords/phrases for their own topics, and then having a discussion around building strategies, using alternative keywords/phrases and synonyms. Ample time would be allowed for students to search databases and find at least three different sources during the Information Literacy session.

    The assigned reading was encouraging in describing how we as librarians are “insiders and outsiders” to many disciplines and as such we can help students see knowledge as “constructed and contested.” We can then encourage students to ask additional questions, relative to the discipline, which would help them find sources more relevant to that discipline.

    It was interesting to learn that the “integration of genre theory” was the basis for Writing Across the Curriculum, the use of which has been increasing.



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