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Scholarly Sources Integration Kit


In a digital world, many of the familiar cues that tell us whether we are looking at a book, newspaper, or magazine fade away. Students may have trouble distinguishing between a webpage and an article that is displayed on a website. Additionally, this may be the first time that many students are exposed to some of the source types that are common in academia, such as scholarly journal articles. Capitalize on students’ eagerness to take their learning to the next level by exposing them to the variety of source types used at the college level and helping them to understand the different types of information contained within each. 

In this lesson, the class will work in small groups to examine the characteristics of scholarly (journal articles) and popular (magazine, newspaper, etc.) sources. See Interactive Video Quiz and Assessment sections for asychronous option.

Learning Objective

Students will identify scholarly and popular information sources based on their characteristics, and recognize the different purpose and audiences of these sources.

A librarian can come to your class to run this lesson for you, or a librarian can customize a lesson for your class based around your unit of study or assignment requirements. Please contact us if you are interested in this option.

If you prefer to cover this information literacy topic on your own, you will find all the plans and materials you need below.

Class Materials

This lesson begins with a small group activity, followed by a whole class recap/discussion. Class time: 20 minutes

Contact a librarian if you need help selecting sources to use for this activity.

Interactive Video

Our interactive video asks students to consider factors such as authorship, citations, source/publication and more. Seven multiple choice quiz questions are integrated into the video you can preview below.

The interactive video would be a good option for an asynchronous class, although it only provides a brief introduction to scholarly sources. If your students will need a more in-depth understanding of scholarly sources, we recommend adding the assessment below.

Please email if you would like to add this interactive video to your Canvas course.


Students will find a scholarly source on a topic, "test" to make sure the source is scholarly, and answer reflective questions about it. This is a good scaffolding step to help students be successful on the larger assignment that requires the use of scholarly sources. This will also allow you to give feedback on whether the selected sources are appropriate before students write their paper/create their project incorporating the sources.

NOTE: Students should complete the Searching & Finding activity or have instruction from a librarian about using library search tools before doing this assignment. You can also optionally assess the Authority integration learning objectives using this assignment, if the class has done that activity.

Did you use any of these materials?

Please complete this quick one-minute survey letting us know which materials you used. We use this information for assessment and reporting statistics to the IPEDS survey. You can include optional feedback on how our lessons worked for your students, to help us improve our lessons and materials. Thank you!

Information Literacy Integrations Survey