Skip to Main Content Castleton Third Party Header

Spartan Savvy: Integrative Model for Information Literacy

Activities covering information literacy topics

Constructing An Argument

by Unknown User on 2018-05-04T14:48:00-04:00 | 0 Comments


Using segments from different sources, students will reflect on how to use sources when constructing an argument. 

Activity Time:

20-30 Minutes

Learning Goals: 

Students will understand the value of using outside sources in their own work.

Description/Lesson Plan:

  • Provide students with segments, along with the citation information, from at least three sources representing different perspectives on one issue.
  • In small groups, prompt students to think about and identify a use for each source in building an argument for or against the issue:
    • How could you use this source to argue for the issue?
    • How could you use this source to argue against the issue?
    • What else would you want to know about this source before you used it?
  • Ask the groups to report their discussion, findings, and questions back to the class.
  • Lead a class discussion about the challenges in accurately representing sources using examples provided by the students. The discussion should focus on the value the sources brought to their argument.

Teaching Tips:

The strength of this activity is its flexibility in the use of sources, which make this activity useful for all disciplines. Instructors have the opportunity to tailor this lesson to teach subject matter content using primary sources in their discipline as well as practicing critical thinking skills.

Topics and Concepts:

 Add a Comment


  Recent Posts

Ethical Use of Sources
Students watch a video on plagiarism and then complete a worksheet covering examples of source use.
Which Search Worked Best?
Students will practice using Boolean operators.
Probing Curiosity
Students will reflect on curiosity by outlining the process they took to learn more about a topic.
Responsibly Using Online Images
Students practice searching for and citing images found online.
Mapping a Topic
The class contributes to the creation of a concept map that shows how a variety of sources contribute to robust learning of a topic.
Constructing An Argument
Using segments from different sources, students will reflect on how to use sources when constructing an argument.
Exploring Expertise
Students will research the validity and credibility of claims made by experts quoted in different popular news sources.
What Makes Someone an Expert?
Students will identify someone who is an authority on a subject and examine the aspects that make that person an expert.
The 5 Ws of Evaluation
Students will ask and answer questions about the characteristics of a source in order to critically evaluate it.
Creation is Iteration
Students will brainstorm the process an information source took from its original idea to the final published version.
Information Creation as a Process
Students will watch a short video on how information is created and for what purpose, and then critically analyze the purpose of the format for a variety of information sources.
Standing on Shoulders
Students will discuss and search for examples of scholarship refuting previous knowledge.
Choosing and Narrowing a Topic
Provide examples of how to choose a topic and narrow it down to something appropriate for a college project. Students practice with their own topics.
Pin the Source on the Spectrum
Pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey activity and discussion using Vanessa Otero’s Media Bias chart.
Authority is Contextual and Constructed: Class Discussion of Authorship
Students read two very different sources from the same author and discuss which is more scholarly, which has more authority, without knowing they are from the same author.
What it is & How to cite it
Students will be able to recognize source formats and create citations.
Source Formats & the Creation Process
Students locate and identify 3 sources on a topic and reflect on the creation process.
The Scholarly Conversation: Reading & Applying Scholarly Research
Students learn how to read scholarly articles and how to use them as evidence for claims.
Discovery Tools Are Like Shopping For Jeans
An analogy and demonstration to help students feel more comfortable using library databases by showing how they are like shopping.
Hashtags and Headings: Mind Your Metadata
Discussion of hashtags and subject headings as metadata to help locate information.
Joining the Scholarly Conversation
Discussion of video and quote on how scholarship is like a conversation.
Why Cite?
Discussion of purpose and value of citing sources in academia.
Discipline Expertise
Students will research experts in the discipline to identify the formats they use to share information.
Map the Conversation
Students will use reference lists to map and reflect on a scholarly conversation.
Scholarly to Popular
Students will assess how the findings of a scholarly article were presented in the popular media.
Search Techniques
In small groups, students explore a search technique and then demonstrate it to the class.
Research Process and Research Questions
After watching a video on the research process, students are asked to develop a research question and determine next steps in their own research process.
Creator Perspective
In small groups, students develop "rules" for the use of something that they have created. After considering the information source they have used in an assignment, students will reflect on the source's rules of use and the creator's perspective.
Argument Reflections
Students are asked to reflect on the usefulness of an outside source in building an argument.
Constructing our own Authority
Using a handout, students are asked to reflect on their own authority.
Connections between Information and Scholarship
Using one popular and one scholarly article, students will identify the information or outside sources used within each article and discuss the connections between information and scholarship.
Considering Tweet Credibility
After watching a video on credibility, students are presented with two tweets on the same topic to compare and the credibility of the tweets and creators is discussed.
Social Justice in Information
Using clips from the “Just Google It”: Algorithms of Oppression video, students are asked to "critically examine results of google image searches as an illustration of inequities".
Cost and Value of Information
Self paced tutorial that helps students "identify the characteristics of information, which contribute to its value".
Format Process Cards
Decks of "cards" are distributed to small groups of students with instructions to discuss and arrange the seven information cards (such as Tweet) by whatever the process card says (such as Time).


Enter your e-mail address to receive notifications of new posts by e-mail.


  Return to Blog
This post is closed for further discussion.