Academic Libraries and Writing Programs: Partnering for Student Success

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


Literature and Languages

Date of Award

Fall 2013


This study was designed to examine the information seeking strategies of community college students as they worked to compose their first-semester freshman composition research paper. Through comparing pre- and post-course surveys and content analysis looking for key terms and phrases found in the students' Information Literacy Narrative writing assignment, the researcher sought to determine the effectiveness of course integrated information literacy modules strategically provided throughout various times of the semester. The traditional method for library instruction at this particular community college is for students to visit the library once for a 'one-shot' thirty to fifty minute presentation that overviews all library resources available. While the control group received this traditional form of library instruction, the treated group received library instruction through six different lessons provided by the librarian. The goal was to determine the effectiveness of moving to this course integrated multiple modules design where a librarian presents six twenty-to-thirty minute modules at predetermined points of need. The librarian and the composition instructor collaborated beforehand to determine what information needs students would have throughout the semester. Additionally, the librarian worked with the composition instructor to help students integrate the research sources into their writing projects. Often we find that students just 'plug their sources in' to the papers without any real purpose for doing so. Therefore, another goal of the study was to produce better student writing because students were better able to understand their reasons for using the sources that they selected. Ultimately, the purpose of this study was to make a case for each first-semester composition class to have a librarian, who is knowledgeable about the changing platforms of information resources, assigned as a co-instructor who assesses the information needs of first- and second-year students and provides information literacy instruction and assessment. Not only will the goals of the project help students in the composition class, but the information literacy instruction will help the students with research-based writing projects in other disciplines as well.


Donna Dunbar-Odom

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities | Library and Information Science