Document Type


Publication Date



LIF 101, Liberal Arts: Social Science and Humanities

This assignment was designed to reintroduce students to library resources and to give students an opportunity to examine scholarly publications in parts and in detail, without the pressure of using the article in a formal research paper, or having to understand the entire article.

To prepare for this assignment, we started class with a writing exercise to answer, “what makes something scholarly?” All responses were written on the board; together we identified common ideas that came up more than once. I added to their responses with a short lecture about the information cycle and how the process by which information is created determines whether a source is popular or scholarly. Then, we did a second writing exercise to answer, “what is the difference between data and information?” Using their responses, we create a shared definition for the two terms.

We tested our definitions using a scholarly article; I select a different article every semester, but last fall, I used: Wood, J. Luke, & Ireland, S. Mei-Yen. (2014). Supporting Black Male Community College Success: Determinants of Faculty-Student Engagement. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 38(2-3), 154-3), p.154-165. In small groups, students are given one paragraph from the article. Together, they are asked to:

  • Summarize the main idea of the paragraph
  • Look for the use of information
  • Look for the use of data

After sharing out to the larger group, we talked about the overall purpose of the article, and how this type of scholarly information would be used during their time at LaGuardia and at Senior Colleges.

This assignment was due one week later and it was worth 10% of the overall grade.


This resource is part of the First Year Seminar Curricular Resources.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.