Library Instruction and Themed Composition Courses: An Investigation of Factors that Impact Student Learning

Erin E. Rinto, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Elisa I. Cogbill-Seiders


Many academic libraries partner with English composition in order to teach first year students skills related to academic research and writing. Due to the partnership between information literacy and first-year writing programs, it is important to evaluate how these programs can best support one another. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of two factors on student information literacy skill development: library instruction and section theme—defined here as class sections of the English 102 (ENG 102) program developed around a central topic selected by the instructor. A random sample of annotated bibliographies from 95 sections of ENG 102 were scored with two information literacy rubrics in order to find out if scores differed between sections based on the variables of library instruction and theme. The results of this study indicate that sections of the ENG 102 program that attended an information literacy instruction session scored significantly higher on the annotated bibliography assignment than sections that did not attend. We also found that themed sections of ENG 102 scored marginally higher on the annotated bibliography than non-themed sections of ENG 102. Implications for further research are discussed, including the potential impact of theme-based writing on information literacy learning.