William Duffy and Rachel E. Scott
University of Memphis
The Ohio State University
We begin with some familiar questions: What does the cra of research require?
What are the skills and capacities dierentiating an eective researcher from an
ineective researcher? What is information literacy, and how are denitions of
this concept evolving? Can information literacy be accurately measured and as-
sessed? ere are, of course, no clear cut, universal answers to these questions,
but for those of us who teach research in the contexts of library instruction and
college-level writing courses, these are questions we must, nevertheless, contin-
ually ask. And for good reason. In the twenty-rst century, digital technologies
* This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-
Alike 4.0 License, CC BY-NC-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/).
260 CHAPTER 13
are not just allowing information to circulate in ways that once seemed un-
imaginable, but also expanding the forms and contexts of information available
to us. For example, the three of us remember sitting in composition courses
as undergraduates while learning how to tell the dierences between scholarly
and non-scholarly sources. While we had access to electronic databases, most
of the information we combed through for research projects fell into easily
identiable categories: academic journals, magazines, newspapers, and schol-
arly monographs. Moreover, when it came to avoiding plagiarism, we simply
had to follow the rules our instructors provided. It all seemed straightforward.
We know better now; teaching eective research practices has never been
a straightforward endeavor.1 To be sure, academic journals and scholarly press-
es still publish research following processes of peer and external review that
have changed very little over the years, and academic librarians still encourage
students to grasp how understanding these processes will in turn help them to
assess the quality and value of dierent types of texts. However, the questions
we might ask to conduct these assessments are not as useful as they once were.
Indeed, what denotes a scholarly source is hardly answered simply by asking,
for example, whether or not it was peer-reviewed. Consider the following case.
In 2014, two large academic publishers, Springer and the Institute of Elec-
trical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), removed more than 120 papers from
their respective databases when it was discovered these works were actually
computer-generated gobbledygook papers. Writing in the journal Nature, Rich-
ard Van Noorden explains how these papers were written using soware called
SCIgen that was developed in 2005 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technol-
ogy. Cyril Labbé, a French computer scientist, discovered these gobbledygook
papers using a technique that, as Noorden summarizes, “involves searching for
characteristic vocabulary generated by SCIgen.” To illustrate how easily aca-
demic publics can be deceived by these gibberish papers, Labbé created a fake
researcher named “Ike Antkare” in 2010 and attached the name to over 100 pa-
pers generated using this soware. According to Noorden, for a time “Antkare”
became the twenty-rst most cited scientist on Google Scholar.2 Commenting
on the signicance of this deception, Konstantin Kakaes cautions while it is
impressive that soware sophisticated enough to produce “passable gibberish”
now exists, “the wide acceptance of these papers by respected journals is symp-
tomatic of a deeper dysfunction in scientic publishing, in which quantitative
measures of citation have acquired an importance that is distorting the practice
of science.”3 As Kakaes speculates, economic and professional pressures have
le quantity not quality as the key standard in assessing academic success; and
because academic publishers can charge a premium for access to their subscrip-
tion services, the economics of academic authorship have assumed a new sig-
nicance both in terms of how much academics are expected to publish and
how much publishers can charge for access to such scholarship.
Leveraging New Frameworks to Teach Information Appropriation 261
In this Springer/IEEE example, we see how the content of academic ar-
ticles can sometimes be less important than the citation value of the articles.
at is, the more a bogus article’s citation begins to circulate across bibliogra-
phies, the harder it becomes to dispute the article’s legitimacy, at least if one
doesn’t possess the rhetorical know-how or disciplinary knowledge to locate
the article and assess its dubious status. Admittedly, most student researchers
will probably not encounter texts like these gobbledygook papers. is doesn’t
mean, though, students won’t encounter texts that blur boundaries of legitima-
cy and require careful, rhetorically-nuanced examination to assess their value,
not to mention what counts as an appropriate use of such sources in their
own writing. In fact, considering many students now turn to the open web to
conduct the initial (if not all) phases of a research project, it makes sense to
reconsider the skills necessary for students to assess and, in turn, appropriate
the various forms of information available to them with a click of the mouse.
In this chapter, we pursue such a reconsideration while specically fo-
cusing on how the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education4
(hereaer ACRL Framework) and the Framework for Success in Postsecondary
Writing5 (hereaer WPA Framework) oer library and composition instructors
a fresh perspective on the aims of information literacy and writing pedagogy.
By promoting dispositions instead of prescriptively outlining standards,
these Frameworks allow stakeholders to talk about the messy, complex work of
research and writing in terms underscoring the critical role habits of mind play
in literacy development. To this end, we rst oer a brief discussion for why
questions about information appropriation should be considered alongside ones
that attempt to understand the networks in and out of which information circu-
lates, which we suggest underscore the usefulness of the ACRL Framework and
the WPA Framework as pedagogical tools. Next, we turn to the Frameworks and
explain how their respective emphases on the importance of dispositions can be
examined alongside each other in ways promoting a robust, yet exible, concep-
tion of information literacy appropriate for twenty-rst-century students. We
conclude by sharing an instructional heuristic and assignment sequence draw-
ing explicitly on the language of the Frameworks and encouraging students to
see themselves as contributors to scholarship, not just consumers of it.
Before discussing the signicance of using a disposition-based framework to
promote information literacy, we turn to the question of why it is useful to
think about information literacy as something to be approached as a functional
engagement with objects and practices requiring, not the acquisition of specic
abilities and knowledge sets, but the cultivation of habits of mind like curiosity,
262 CHAPTER 13
exibility, and metacognition. In his reworking of Barthes’s well-known essay
“e Death of the Author,” John Logie argues that unlike romantic construc-
tions of authorship, twenty-rst-century composers are more networked than
solitary and more responsive than originary.6 Preferring the term composer to
that of author, Logie outlines why composers should recognize how “even their
most distinctive compositions have antecedents, analogs, and echoes,” ones that
in many cases are “accessible in the space of a few mouse clicks.”7 As networks
of information becomes more profuse and accessible, it is incumbent on us to
recognize how the compositions we create exist in multiple contexts that may
not always be discernible at rst blush. And just like these networks of informa-
tion, the literacies needed to navigate such contexts are always evolving. Mem-
orizing sets of rules about source type, for example, won’t always be sucient
for eectively appropriating information from sources that evade classication.
e article from Nature we draw upon is a case in point. Published week-
ly and with a print circulation of more than y thousand, Nature is a well-
known academic journal. According to the 2013 Journal Citation Reports Sci-
ence Edition, in fact, “Nature is the world’s most highly cited interdisciplinary
science journal.”8 But the author of the article we cite, Richard Van Noorden, is
not a scientist; he’s a science journalist. And Noorden’s article wasn’t published
in the print edition of the journal; it was published on the journal’s website in
the News and Comment section. e point is that Noorden’s article doesn’t t
into an easily denable information schema. It is not an academic article, but
it is an article about academic publication that includes a reference list and is
published by an academic journal. How should we assess this piece of writing
as an academic text, then? More to the point, how might a librarian or com-
position instructor talk to students about this article as a source they might
draw upon and reference in their own research? is question does not just
concern the technicalities of citation; we are also asking about how instructors
should encourage students to read and engage such a piece while developing a
rhetorically-informed understanding of it as a networked text.
We believe part of what is required is a capacity to locate such texts in re-
lationship to others. Rather than hold up Noorden’s article as a discrete source
needing to be interpreted and assessed, students might look up other articles
Noorden has written; they might also backtrack to see what other types of
articles have been published in the News and Comment section of Nature’s
website. Additionally, students could follow the multiple hyperlinks included
in the body of the article. ese are simple exercises that can provide invalu-
able context. Here, we nd the sociologist George Herbert Mead’s notion of a
“consentient set” useful, which is his term for the patterns we perceive across
related events, patterns that get “grasped together or prehended [gathered to-
gether] into a unity.”9 A consentient set is thus an articial set of perceptual
relationships originating in the dynamic between an observer and a eld of
Leveraging New Frameworks to Teach Information Appropriation 263
objects. Another way of getting at this idea is to borrow Bourdieu’s concept of
a eld, which like a consentient set, underscores the value of relationality as
the primary marker for understanding the signicance of social objects in spe-
cic contexts. As Bourdieu explains, “a eld may be dened as a network, or a
conguration, of objective relations between positions.”10 Fields are dynamic
groupings of objects and relationships necessarily inuenced by the expecta-
tions and experiences of those who perceive them.
e ability to examine a piece of writing and interpret it according to var-
ious academic conventions, including systems of reference, is directly linked
to the work of locating a text within the various elds that might signal which
of these conventions are the most applicable. At the risk of further abstraction,
Bourdieu notes how “[e]very eld constitutes a potentially open space of play
whose boundaries are dynamic borders which are the stake of struggles within
the eld itself.”11 In short, even within elds themselves, rules and conventions
are dynamic. For instance, if we assigned a research paper requiring students
to use a certain number of scholarly sources, and if we are not prepared to
engage and arm students who bring sources like Noorden’s to the table that
blur such categorization, we are ultimately doing them a disservice. Certainly,
we agree with Mike Duncan who reminds us that to compose a successful
researched argument “one must read a great deal, understand what one has
read, reect on the reading through analysis, and then reconsider all that has
been done.’12 But this work of reading and analysis has to include careful con-
sideration of the networks of information in which we locate texts. Shaping
research instruction around standards not responsive to the dynamic nature
of digital writing, for example, is not pedagogically useful to the vast multi-
tude of students who do their research in digitally-mediated environments.
Twenty-rst-century composers are “almost by default” turning to networked
computing to research and compose, Logie reminds us.13 For this reason, we
suggest turning to disposition-based methods of instruction more sensitive
to the kinds of thinking we want students to pursue when evaluating research
they locate on the web. e ACRL Framework and the WPA Framework both
include related dispositions on which librarians and composition instructors
can base their strategies for teaching information appropriation.
Information Appropriation in the ACRL
ere are substantive dierences between the Information Literacy Competency
Standards for Higher Education (hereaer ACRL Standards)14 and the ACRL
Framework: the ACRL Standards are prescriptive and the ACRL Framework
264 CHAPTER 13
encourages adaptation; the ACRL Standards are discrete and comprehensive
and the ACRL Framework overlaps and makes no claim to comprehensiveness;
and, most importantly, the Standards are performance-based and the ACRL
Framework dispositions-based. e extensive changes should have a profound
impact on what and how librarians teach. is section explores how discussions
surrounding information appropriation and academic integrity have evolved
from plagiarism avoidance in the ACRL Standards to informed information
appropriation for knowledge production in the ACRL Framework, along with
the implications of these changes for librarians and writing professionals.
e Association of College and Research Libraries approved the ACRL
Standards in 2000. e document includes a denition of information litera-
cy and a list of standards accompanied by performance indications and out-
comes. e Standards are numbered one to ve with the belief the student
should progress through them in that order, rst determining the need, then
accessing, evaluating, and using the information ethically and legally. Each
standard begins with the phrase “e information literate student” and con-
cludes with competencies of which the student is to master. Although this is
standard language for learning outcomes, James Elmborg notes “the student
has become the ‘object’ of the information literacy, and by extension, the place
where information literacy happens. e academic librarian…can maintain
a safe objective distance from this student and assess…using the measuring
stick of the Standards.”15
e ACRL Framework, approved in 2015 by the ACRL, is a re-visioning
not only of the substance, but also of the purpose of the instrument. Unlike
the prescriptive ACRL Standards, which present a systematic and comprehen-
sive measure of students’ information literacy competency, the ACRL Frame-
work recommends adapting the interconnected frames to accommodate local
needs. Where the language used in the Standards suggests information litera-
cy can be measured discretely and externally, the ACRL Framework outlines
some of the knowledge practices and dispositions demonstrated by learners
developing their abilities. Instead of being externally judged, the learner takes
responsibility for the development of his/her information literacy. To this end,
the ACRL Framework relies on metacognition to empower students to be-
come more aware and reective vis-a-vis information literacy.16
A comparison of the two documents’ denitions of information literacy
reveals how radically these documents diverge. e 1989 ALA Presidential
Committee on Information Literacy Final Report quoted in the ACRL Stan-
dards reads: “To be information literate, a person must be able to recognize
when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use
eectively the needed information.”17 e ACRL Framework denes infor-
mation literacy as “the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reective
discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced
Leveraging New Frameworks to Teach Information Appropriation 265
and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and par-
ticipating ethically in communities of learning.”18 e shi from discrete and
measurable skills to integrated dispositions is plain to see. Unlike the deni-
tion oered in the ACRL Framework, the ACRL Standards’ denition does
not account for the appropriation of information to create knowledge or to
participate in learning; its eective use of information is not informed by an
understanding of the information’s production or value.
In the Standards, the h and nal standard deals explicitly with infor-
mation use: “e information literate student understands many of the eth-
ical, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information and accesses
and uses information ethically and legally.” e attendant performance indi-
cator reads this way, “e information literate student acknowledges the use
of information sources in communicating the product or performance.”19 In
this document, it boils down to whether or not students cite sources, with the
information literate student behaving ethically and acknowledging her use.
ere is no discussion of how students interact with sources, no discussion of
the complexities surrounding information appropriation and the varieties of
use, and no acknowledgment of the dizzying proliferation of what the ACRL
labels “free” information sources in a variety of formats.20
Several of the ACRL Framework frames—and their related knowledge
practices and dispositions—touch on aspects of information appropriation.
Elements of information use are embedded in all six of the frames, but three
are of particular interest: “information has value,” “information creation as
a process,” and “scholarship as conversation.” at several of the frames deal
with information use is related to the ACRL Framework’s expanded apprecia-
tion of students not only as consumers, but also as creators and collaborators,
which is attributed to the concept of metaliteracy.21
“Information has value” includes the following warning: “e novice
learner may struggle to understand the diverse values of information in an
environment where free information and related services are plentiful and the
concept of intellectual property is rst encountered through rules of citation
or warnings about plagiarism and copyright law.”22 By equating information
use with plagiarism warnings, librarians and writing teachers lose the oppor-
tunity to discuss the deliberate and informed choices students can make when
acknowledging the words and ideas of authors with whom they engage. is
frame encourages librarians to go beyond teaching students to give credit to
the originator of words and ideas, to challenge students to think about their
role as creators of information and how they assign value to it, and to recognize
that the value of information is socially-constructed and culturally-dened.
“Information creation as a process” highlights the “iterative processes of
researching, creating, revising, and disseminating information”23 that shapes
the resulting product. Experts take a holistic approach to and value this pro-
266 CHAPTER 13
cess; students show reluctance to embrace the iterative nature of the process.
In an article on plagiarism-detection soware, Howard, for example, empha-
sizes the necessity of teaching an appreciation of intertextuality and process as
antidotes.24 If students can be taught to value how they engage with and ques-
tion the information sources they appropriate, then they should make better
use of the information in their own content.
“Scholarship as conversation” highlights the ongoing process by which ac-
ademics, practitioners, and other stakeholders generate knowledge. Students
oen feel excluded from this conversation and, accordingly, do not fully engage
with or debate the information they use. Indeed, plagiarism is blatant when
students present a phrase devoid of the context of surrounding discourse. Ex-
perts are more comfortable with the complexity and dissent in scholarship,
and they seek information in various participatory forums. Students may need
encouragement, not only to nd an appropriate venue in which to participate
in this conversation, but also to recognize their responsibility when participat-
ing. Contributing to the conversation requires a developing knowledge of the
discourse and a respect for others’ contributions, even while critically evalu-
e integrative nature of these frames and the dynamic context which
they seek to investigate mimic Bourdieu’s elds with their “open space of play
whose boundaries are dynamic borders.”25 Instead of asking students, for ex-
ample, to cite only peer-reviewed sources and thus constrain their appropri-
ation, we ask them to acknowledge and compare the networks and agents re-
sponsible for the information they are using.
Information Appropriation in the WPA
Academic librarians continue to explore ways they can partner with compo-
sition and other faculty to encourage students to understand information lit-
eracy (IL) and rene their practice of source appropriation. For example, li-
brarians at Utah State University have collaborated with writing instructors to
build a series of classroom activities which employ Rolf Norgaard’s theory of
“writing information literacy”26 and to conduct IL workshops for students as a
way to co-develop new learning outcomes.27 Writing instructors and librarians
at Duquesne University partnered to teach information literacy and research
skills in two courses within a learning community,28 and colleagues at Chan-
dler-Gilbert Community College in Arizona integrated two online credit-bear-
ing courses—composition and information literacy—to increase students’ ex-
posure to IL concepts and provide immediate opportunities for application.29
Leveraging New Frameworks to Teach Information Appropriation 267
Not all academic librarians enjoy productive partnerships with composi-
tion instructors and writing programs, however. is could be due to several
factors, including time and stang issues within the library, but some teaching
faculty may not view librarians as academic peers or understand the special-
ized skills they can oer students.30 Regardless, it is important for librarians
and teaching faculty to acknowledge “both IL and rhetoric and composition
draw from the same intellectual well, building upon more general pedagogi-
cal developments.”31 Librarians interested in partnering with faculty in writing
programs should rst understand how some composition instructors are using
their own framework document to guide and assess their teaching practices.
Similar to the ACRL committees charged with developing learning out-
comes for information literacy and then the ACRL Framework, professional
organizations in the writing studies rst partnered in 2000 to create learning
outcomes for students in rst-year writing courses, then in 2011 to produce the
WPA Framework. e WPA Framework is the product of a task force created
by the Council of Writing Program Administrators (WPA), National Coun-
cil of Teachers of English (NCTE), and the National Writing Project (NWP).
Participants included writing instructors from two- and four-year institutions
as well as high school English teachers. e WPA Framework, “based on out-
comes included in the WPA’s Outcomes Statement for First-Year Composition,” 32
is intended to inform and guide members of a broader community, including
policy makers and parents, who are in key positions to support students as
they work toward college readiness.33 In turn, the WPA Outcomes document,
revised in 2014, includes a nod to the WPA Framework in a footnote, calling
both documents aligned.34
e ACRL Framework requires librarians to engage conceptually with
the knowledge practices and dispositions in order to generate local learning
outcomes. Likewise, rst-year writing instructors are encouraged to use the
WPA Framework as a method for articulating outcomes by focusing on the
“habits of mind and experiences with writing, reading, and critical analysis
that serve as foundations for writing in college-level, credit-bearing courses.”35
ese habits of mind or “ways of approaching learning that are both intellectu-
al and practical” highlight the importance of curiosity, openness, engagement,
creativity, persistence, responsibility, exibility, and metacognition.36 e last
three habits of mind are particularly relevant to this chapter, as instructors
guide students in their practice of appropriating information in their writing
assignments. “Responsibility,” “exibility,” and “metacognition” complement
the disposition-based ACRL Framework and provide librarians with a further
understanding of how the two documents can provide a solid foundation for
partnerships in the classroom.
e WPA Framework denes responsibility as “the ability to take own-
ership of one’s actions and understand the consequences of those actions for
268 CHAPTER 13
oneself and others.” is habit of mind “is fostered when writers are encour-
aged to recognize their own role in learning” and “act on the understanding
that learning is shared among the writer and others—students, instructors,
and the institution, as well as those engaged in the questions and/or elds in
which the writer is interested.” Writers can “engage and incorporate the ideas
of others, giving credit to those ideas by using appropriate attribution,” and
like the ACRL Framework, the WPA Framework supports the idea that schol-
arship is a conversation, which places the onus on the writer to view herself
as a serious contributor to the scholarly discussion.37 A student who is asked
to compose a paper for a class assignment should not imagine the instructor
(and the gradebook) as the only audience, but consider how the piece can
impact others’ understanding of a concept and contribute to the existing infor-
mation landscape. Librarians, during instruction and reference consultations,
can echo this message while demonstrating how to search for, evaluate, and
appropriate existing scholarly and non-scholarly work on a topic, focusing not
on consumerism but participation.
Flexibility, “the ability to adapt to situations, expectations, or demands,”
is prescribed by the WPA Framework to help students “recognize that con-
ventions (such as formal and informal rules of content, organization, style,
evidence, citation, mechanics, usage, register, and dialect) are dependent on
discipline and context.” is habit of mind encourages writers to respect the
nature of information as context-specic and to select and cite sources appro-
pr i a tely.38 Similar to the ACRL Framework, which emphasizes “information
has value” and the importance of critically evaluating available sources, the
WPA Framework underlines the benet of attaining “rhetorical knowledge—
the ability to analyze and act on understandings of audiences, purposes, and
contexts in creating and comprehending texts.”39 As twenty-rst-century stu-
dents are faced with navigating a more complex information environment,
writing instructors and librarians can draw on their respective frameworks
and impart a common message that source selection and appropriation is spe-
cic to disciplinary discourse. Early emphasis on exibility can prepare stu-
dents to successfully translate and hone their research and writing skills in a
variety of contexts.
Metacognition, “the ability to reect on one’s own thinking as well as on
the individual and cultural processes and systems used to structure knowl-
edge,” encourages students to “examine processes they use to think and write
in a variety of disciplines and contexts” and “reect on the texts that they have
produced in a variety of contexts.” In addition, writers can “connect choices
they have made in texts to audiences and purposes for which texts are in-
tended” and “use what they learn from reections on one writing project to
improve writing on subsequent projects.”40 is habit of mind is echoed in
the ACRL Framework, which empowers students to reect on the ongoing
Leveraging New Frameworks to Teach Information Appropriation 269
processes entailed in research and writing; faculty who adapt this concept can
“help students view themselves as information producers, individually and
collaboratively.”41 Writing instructors continue to emphasize the importance
of reection and revision at all levels. Librarians can support this process by
encouraging students to question the sources they’ve chosen and consider the
possibility a source may not function in the same way in an improved, revised
version of the composition. When an author has altered a purpose or identi-
ed a dierent audience, librarians can model how to conduct a new or revised
inquiry based on initial search results.
First-year writing instructors may not be familiar with the ACRL frames,
knowledge practices, and dispositions, as well as how librarians are applying
them to create information literacy assignments. However, both writing in-
structors and librarians can identify bridges between them through the similar
philosophies reected in the Framework documents. Librarians can encourage
faculty who teach composition courses to use their understanding of the habits
of mind discussed in their own professional documents to relate to concepts
outlined in the ACRL Framework and vice versa. ese commonalities are es-
pecially useful as librarians and instructors work proactively to teach students
how they can appropriate information and cite the contributions of others, en-
couraging them to join the scholarly conversation and avoid accidental pla-
giarism. To this end, the below heuristic includes strategies and examples that
readers can use to engage students in the application and understanding of the
relevant dispositions and habits of mind discussed earlier in in the chapter.
Information Appropriation Heuristic and
To understand the signicance and meaning of a given piece of digital in-
formation, readers must be able to trace the networks in and out of which it
exists. To this end, students in a semester-long research methods class taught
by Rachel were asked to read James Grimmelmann’s Slate article “Harry Pot-
ter and the Mysterious Defeat Device”42 (“HPMDD”) in preparation for a
discussion of the ACRL frame “Scholarship as Conversation.” On the day of
the discussion, William, a composition specialist, joined the class as a guest
instructor. e goal of this classroom session and the subsequent assignments
was to empower students to see themselves as authors, to provide a method for
interacting responsibly with texts in practice, and to encourage self-reection
of reading and citation practices.
An article about the need to revise laws that could help prevent automo-
bile manufacturers, like Volkswagen, from building soware that allow its ve-
270 CHAPTER 13
hicles to cheat on emissions tests, “HPMDD” is a useful example of the types
of sources students increasingly come across when doing web-based research.
On one hand, the article is relatively short, has a playful title, and is published
in a popular online periodical. On the other hand, the author is a law professor
and, perhaps more interestingly, the piece is published as a “Future Tense” fea-
ture. Co-sponsored by Slate, the New America Foundation, and Arizona State
University, Future Tense is a Slate series publishing commentary that “seeks
to understand the latest technological and scientic breakthroughs, and what
they mean for our environment, how we relate to one another, and what it
means to be human.”43 ere is no list of references at the end of the piece, but
hyperlinks in the article take readers to a range of sources: government doc-
uments, articles in popular magazines, and websites of various professional
organizations and lobbying groups. While “HPMDD” is clearly not a peer-re-
viewed research article, it is also clear the article is not without scholarly value.
More to the point, this article is representative of the changing information
landscapes student researchers must learn to navigate, ones brought about by
the conuence of new types of texts with new habits of reading through online
roughout the class’s initial discussion of Grimmelmann’s article, Rachel
and William modeled question-posing strategies as a means of understand-
ing the context in which the article was produced and might be understood.
Sample questions included: What is the dierence between paraphrasing and
quoting and why does Grimmelmann use both methods? How does the author
introduce dissent, support, context, and history? Besides avoiding plagiarism,
why does Grimmelmann link to sources? What kinds of sources are they, and
how can you tell? Is it possible to decipher that Grimmelmann is law professor
without reading his author bio? Who can contribute to and who is excluded
from this discourse and how have digital platforms changed this? To help an-
swer these questions, students were asked to imagine the article within a cita-
tion network. By way of example, William created a Prezi illustrating one way
to imagine the dierent networks within which Grimmelmann’s article exists
(see gure 13.01).
While not exhaustive, the Prezi presents Grimmelmann’s network of
scholarship, journalism, and op-ed content; the sponsoring bodies of Future
Tense: Slate, Arizona State University, and New America; and color-coded
nodes of cited source indicating various types of government publications
such as an Environmental Protect Agency letter, articles from magazines such
a Wired, and policy statements from groups such as the Electronic Frontier
Leveraging New Frameworks to Teach Information Appropriation 271
Prezi Illustrating How to Imagine the Different Networks in
As a visual representation of networked information, this presentation
attempts to enact Bourdieu’s eld theory, namely how “one must map out
the objective structure of the relations between the positions occupied by the
agents” that jockey for recognition and authority.44 Because this article, like so
many digital artifacts, exists within several layers of networks that mitigate the
meaning of the content itself, traditional labels of scholarly, popular, published,
and edited are insucient to critically evaluate it. Instead, students should
be empowered to frame their evaluation of research in terms that help them
understand the ways information is networked and the implications of these
networks for their own information appropriation. While borrowing terms
from Bourdieu or Mead is certainly an option, the language of the Frameworks
is more accessible and suggests multiple avenues for assessing the complex
work of appropriating research. Combining the ACRL frame of “scholarship
as conversation” with the WPA Framework emphasis on exibility, students
researching controversies associated with the production of self-driving cars,
for example, could be encouraged to read an article like Grimmelmann’s as
an example of research dierent from, but nevertheless in conversation with,
questions asked about the safety of driverless cars. Tracing the networks that
inform Grimmelmann’s article might then reveal nodes of information more
directly relevant for their own research. Or it might not. As we all want our
students to understand, research is never a straightforward, one-shot endeavor
272 CHAPTER 13
always producing useable information. is was one of the points Rachel and
William emphasized during the class discussion of “HPMDD,” a discussion
serving as the basis for two homework assignments students completed over
the course of the next week.
e rst assignment, oered at the conclusion of this chapter as part of
Appendix 13A, required paired students to create and present a map or oth-
er visual representation of the referentiality in an assigned article.45 Students
could create a physical map or use a variety of digital platforms, such as Prezi,
to realize their map. e only requirement was to create at least at one node for
each source cited. Groups then presented their maps to the class and discussed
patterns or relationships of particular interest. As a follow-up, the second as-
signment asked students to use this tracing process to reect on their own
authorship practices. Specically, students were asked to reect on citations
and information appropriation in a previously submitted paper.46 By asking
students to reect on their processes and answer questions about their previ-
ous appropriation of sources, we wanted to promote the value of metacogni-
tion while encouraging them to acknowledge the interactivity of information
sources in their own scholarship. Our hope is by acknowledging this interac-
tivity and recognizing their own writing in networked frames, students will be
more likely to see themselves as contributors to scholarship and not just con-
sumers of it. Indeed, this understanding and respect for the give and take of
writing should help students begin to foster a respect for the words and ideas
of others while promoting the responsible use of information.
In the end, we believe framing the research process in terms of information
appropriation helps to underscore for students the idea that research is rarely
an isolated activity; that every time we take up a journal article, search a da-
tabase, or read an essay published in an online periodical, we are interacting
with communities of readers and writers that become nodes in networks of in-
formation we have a hand in creating through our various acts of research. Of
course, this level of recognition depends, in part, on the ways we both encour-
age and authorize students to view themselves as actual researchers, as partic-
ipants in the production of knowledge. And as we all know, this is perhaps the
hardest task we face as research librarians and teachers of writing: helping stu-
dents recognize how research-based assignments can be meaningful in ways
that go beyond the immediate parameters of course outcomes, grade expec-
tations, and the like. Indeed, tapping into that space where research becomes
consequential in unexpected ways is something that can hardly be taught in
the instrumental sense. inking in terms of dispositions, however, pushes us
Leveraging New Frameworks to Teach Information Appropriation 273
beyond the realm of instrumental teaching, beyond just the identication of
codied rules and conventions, and into the more uid (and harder) work of
fostering the attitudes necessary to become capable researchers who can navi-
gate complex networks of information.
Developing the ability to successfully navigate the work of research—to
understand how to assess the origins, values, and meanings of the sources we
locate—does not automatically translate into the skill sets needed to responsi-
bly appropriate sources. We obviously have to teach students strategies for us-
ing sources, in other words. And it would be irresponsible to bypass rule-ori-
ented discussions of plagiarism, for example, but at the same time we should
push against the urge to reduce the complexities of information appropriation
into bifurcated models presenting research as a rule-governed process con-
sisting of only correct and incorrect actions. When it comes to the problem of
plagiarism in particular, we know the primary reasons students cheat are oen
time-related,47 but providing students with a mechanism by which they can
value and evaluate authors’ contributions to a given discourse can empower
them to appropriate information responsibly. e work of asking questions,
evaluating citations, and reecting on the purposes that motivate authors to
use information in specic ways provides students with a method by which to
recognize the various ways research can be valued, understood as a process,
and connected to conversations beyond the immediacy of a single assignment.
None of this is easy, of course, nor should it be. But our experience with
the Frameworks has been teaching us we are better equipped to work with
novice researchers when we coordinate our eorts in ways that bridge the writ-
ing classroom with the library. Indeed, there is tremendous value in building
collaborations between composition instructors and librarians, a point with
which most of our readers are probably in agreement, but it is our hope this
chapter encourages you to draw on the WPA Framework and ACRL Frame-
work in tandem to help foster such collaboration as we all pursue the work of
teaching students how to become responsive and responsible researchers.
274 CHAPTER 13
Appendix 13A: Sample Assignments
Note: As the ACRL Framework suggests, practitioners should customize assign-
ments for their students and local contexts. is principle applies here as well.
When it comes to the sample assignments below, professors with limited class
time can choose a one-page article with which students can practice the tracing
process, or they can omit the presentation component of the reference mapping
assignment. In addition, online students can use the communication tools in the
course management system to complete the group exercise, and they can use
free online information visualization tools to co-create their reference map. As
a follow-up to the in-class and homework assignments, professors may revisit
the heuristic later in the semester by asking students to interview one another
about the source material they appropriated in nal papers that might have been
assigned, therefore continuing the conversation of scholarship.
Assignment 1: Mapping Referentiality
Working in groups of two or three, create a visual representation of the refer-
ences in your assigned article. Your group may use a variety of digital or analog
methods to map this information, but please do prioritize readability. Please
include at least one node for each document to which the author refers. Some
elements you might wish to illustrate:
• source author (government agency / corporate author / personal
author (If so, is the person an academic or other “expert”?))
• source type (academic article / popular press article / social media
content / digital document / statistical document)
• type of reference (quote / paraphrase / allusion)
• purpose of reference (provide evidence / introduce dissent / show
conict / stylistic gesture)
• interrelationships of sources
Sample Map: https://prezi.com/u5-pmthev_/tracing-harry-potter-and-the-
Assignment 2: Writing Is a Conversation
In a 500-word essay due in one week, describe your appropriation of various
types of source material in a previously-submitted paper. Please submit the
earlier paper along with this essay. Your essay should address the following
• How do you dierentiate someone else’s ideas/words from your
Leveraging New Frameworks to Teach Information Appropriation 275
• Do you only use sources to support your thesis or do you also intro-
duce dissent or conict?
• Who are you citing and what are their credentials?
• Do you make clear the author’s relationship to the information by
introducing citations with explanatory or contextualizing informa-
• Does your use of published sources show engagement with and
understanding of discourse? If so, how? If not, how will you more
deeply engage with sources and convey your understanding of a
1. Barbara Fister, “e Research Processes of Undergraduate Students,” Journal of Aca-
demic Librarianship 18, no.3 (1992): 163–69; Cushla, Kapitke, “Information Literacy:
A Positivist Epistemology and a Politics of Outformation,” Educational eory 53, no.
1 (2003): 37–53; Celia Rabinwitz, “Working in a Vacuum: A Study of the Literature
of Student Research and Writing,” Research Strategies 17, no. 4 (2000): 337–346.; and
Daniel Melzer and Pavel Zemliansky, “Research Writing in First-Year Composition
and Across Disciplines: Assignments, Attitudes, and Student Performance,” Kairos: A
Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy 8, no. 1 (2003).
2. Richard Van Noorden, “Publishers Withdraw More an 120 Gibberish Pa-
pers,” Nature, February 24, 2014, http://www.nature.com/news/publishers-with-
3. Konstantin Kakae, “How Gobbledygook Ended Up in Respected Scientic Journals,”
Slate, February 27, 2014, http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2014/02/27/how_
4. Association of College and Research Libraries, 2016, Framework for Information
Literacy for Higher Education, accessed October 9, 2015, http://www.ala.org/acrl/
5. Council of Writing Program Administrators, National Council of Teachers of
English, and National Writing Project, 2011, Framework for Success in Postsecondary
Writing, accessed October 19, 2015, http://wpacouncil.org/les/framework-for-suc-
6. John Logie, “e (Re)birth of the Composer,” Composition and Copyright: Perspec-
tives on Teaching Text-making and Fair Use, ed. Steve Westbrook. (Albany: State
University of New York Press, 2009), 185.
7. Ibid., 184.
8. Nature, “About Nature,” accessed December 6, 2015, http://www.nature.com/nature/
9. George Herbert Mead, Selected Writings, ed. Andrew J. Reck (Indianapolis: e
Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., 1964).
10. Pierre Bourdieu and Loïc J. D. Wacquant, An Invitation to Reexive Sociology (Chica-
go: University of Chicago Press, 1992).
11. Bourdieu and Wacquant, Reexive Sociology, 104.
276 CHAPTER 13
12. Mike Duncan, “e Research Paper as Stylistic Exercise,” in e Centrality of Style,
ed. Mike Duncan and Star Medzerian Vanguri, (Fort Collins, CO: WAC Clearing-
house and Parlor Press, 2013), 162.
13. Logie, “(Re)birth,” 183.
14. Association of College and Research Libraries, 2000, Information Literacy Compe-
tency Standards for Higher Education, Accessed October 9, 2015, http://www.ala.org/
15. James Elmborg, “Critical information literacy: Denitions and challenges,” in Tran s -
forming Information Literacy Programs: Intersecting Frontiers of Self, Library Culture,
and Campus Community, edited by Carroll Wetzel Wilkinson and Courtney Bruch,
75–95. (Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries, 2012), 88.
16. Eveline Houtman, “Mind-Blowing,” Communications in Information Literacy 9, no.1
17. ACRL, Standards, 15.
18. ACRL, Framework, 12.
19. ACRL, Standards, 14.
20. ACRL, Framework, 10.
21. omas P. Mackey and Trudi E. Jacobson, “Reframing Information Literacy as a
Metaliteracy,” College & Research Libraries 72, no. 1 (2011): 62–78.
22. ACRL, Framework, 6.
23. Ibid., 5.
24. Rebecca Moore Howard, “Understanding ‘Internet Plagiarism,’” COCOMP Comput-
ers and Composition 24, no. 1 (2007): 3–15.
25. Bourdieu and Wacquant, Reexive Sociology, 104.
26. Melissa Bowles-Terry, Erin Davis, and Wendy Holliday, “‘Writing Information Liter-
acy’ Revisited Application of eory to Practice in the Classroom,” Reference & User
Services Quarterly 49, no. 3 (2010): 225–230.
27. Kacy Lundstom, Britt Anna Fagerheim, and Elizabeth Benson, “Librarians and
Instructors Developing Student Learning Outcomes Using Frameworks to Lead the
Process,” Reference Services Review 42, no. 3 (2014): 484–498.
28. Marcia Rapchak and Ava Cipri, “Standing Alone No More: Linking Research to a
Writing Course in a Learning Community,” Portal: Libraries & the Academy 15, no.4
29. Mary Beth Burgoyne and Kim Chuppa-Cornell, “Beyond Embedded: Creating an
Online-Learning Community Integrating Information Literacy and Composition
Courses,” Journal of Academic Librarianship 41, no. 4 (2015): 416–421.
30. Carolyn Carey Gardner and Jamie White-Farnham, “‘She Has a Vocabulary I Just
Don’t Have’: Faculty Culture and Information Literacy Collaboration,” Collaborative
Librarianship 5, no. 4 (2014): 235–242.
31. Bowles-Terry, Davis, and Holliday, “‘Writing Information eory’ Revisited,” 225.
32. WPA, Framework, 2–3.
33. Ibid., 2.
34. Council of Writing Program Administrators. 2014.WPA Outcomes Statement for
First-Year Composition (3.0), accessed October 9, 2015, http://wpacouncil.org/posi-
35. WPA, Framework 2.
36. Ibid., 4.
Leveraging New Frameworks to Teach Information Appropriation 277
37. Ibid., 5.
39. Ibid., 1.
40. Ibid., 5.
41. ACRL, Framework, 13.
42. James Grimmelmann, “Harry Potter and the Mysterious Defeat Device,” Slate,
September 22, 2015 http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2015/09/
43. Slate, “What is Future Tense?” Slate, accessed December 6, 2015, http://www.slate.
44. Bourdieu and Wacquant, Reexive Sociology, 105.
45. See Appendix 13A.
47. Ruben Comas-Forgas and Jaume Sureda-Negre, “Academic Plagiarism: Explanatory
Factors from Students’ Perspective,” Journal of Academic Ethics 8, no.3 (2010): 217–232.
Association of College and Research Libraries. 2016. Framework for Information Literacy
for Higher Education. Accessed October 9, 2015. http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/
Association of College and Research Libraries. 2000. Information Literacy Competency
Standards for Higher Education. Accessed October 9, 2015. http://www.ala.org/acrl/
Bourdieu, Pierre, and Loïc J. D. Wacquant. An Invitation to Reexive Sociology. Chicago:
University of Chicago Press, 1992.
Bowles-Terry, Melissa, Erin Davis, and Wendy Holliday. “‘Writing Information Literacy’
Revisited Application of eory to Practice in the Classroom.” Reference & User
Services Quarterly 49, no. 3 (2010): 225–230.
Burgoyne, Mary Beth and Kim Chuppa-Cornell. “Beyond Embedded: Creating an
Online-Learning Community Integrating Information Literacy and Composition
Courses.” Journal of Academic Librarianship 41, no. 4 (2015): 416–421.
Comas-Forgas, Rubén, and Jaume Sureda-Negre. “Academic Plagiarism: Explanatory Fac-
tors from Students’ Perspective.” Journal of Academic Ethics 8, no.3 (2010): 217–232.
Council of Writing Program Administrators. 2014.WPA Outcomes Statement for First-Year
Composition (3.0). Accessed October 9, 2015. http://wpacouncil.org/positions/
Council of Writing Program Administrators, National Council of Teachers of English, and
National Writing Project. 2011. Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing.
Accessed October 19, 2015, http://wpacouncil.org/les/framework-for-suc-
Cushla, Kapitke, “Information Literacy: A Positivist Epistemology and a Politics of Out-
formation,” Educational eory 53, no. 1 (2003): 37–53.
Duncan, Mike. “e Research Paper as Stylistic Exercise,” in e Centrality of Style, ed. Mike
Duncan and Star Medzerian Vanguri, (Fort Collins, CO: WAC Clearinghouse and
Parlor Press, 2013).
278 CHAPTER 13
Elmborg, James. “Critical information literacy: Denitions and challenges.” In Transform-
ing Information Literacy Programs: Intersecting Frontiers of Self, Library Culture,
and Campus Community, edited by Carroll Wetzel Wilkinson and Courtney Bruch,
75–95. Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries, 2012.
Fister, Barbara. “e Research Processes of Undergraduate Students,” Journal of Academic
Librarianship 18, no.3 (1992): 163–69.
Gardner, Carolyn Carey, and Jamie White-Farnham. “‘She Has a Vocabulary I Just Don’t
Have’: Faculty Culture and Information Literacy Collaboration,” Collaborative
Librarianship 5, no. 4 (2014): 235–242.
Grimmelmann, James. “Harry Potter and the Mysterious Defeat Device,” Slate, ac-
cessed September 22, 2015, http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_
Houtman, Eveline. “Mind-Blowing,” Communications in Information Literacy 9, no.1
Howard, Rebecca Moore. “Understanding “Internet Plagiarism,” COCOMP Computers
and Composition 24, no. 1 (2007): 3–15.
Kakae, Konstantin. “How Gobbledygook Ended Up in Respected Scientic Jour-
nals,” Slate, accessed February 27, 2014, http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_
Logie, John. “e (Re)birth of the Composer.” Composition and Copyright: Perspectives on
Teaching Text-making and Fair Use, edited by Steve Westbrook, 175–190. Albany:
State University of New York Press, 2009.
Lundstom, Kacy, Britt Anna Fagerheim, and Elizabeth Benson. “Librarians and Instruc-
tors Developing Student Learning Outcomes Using Frameworks to Lead the
Process,” Reference Services Review 42, no. 3 (2014): 484–498.
Mackey, omas P. and Trudi E. Jacobson, “Reframing Information Literacy as a Metalit-
eracy,” College & Research Libraries 72, no. 1 (2011): 62–78.
Mead, George Herbert. Selected Writings, edited by Andrew J. Reck. Indianapolis: e
Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., 1964.
Melzer, Daniel, and Pavel Zemliansky, “Research Writing in First-Year Composition and
Across Disciplines: Assignments, Attitudes, and Student Performance,” Kairos: A
Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy 8, no. 1 (2003).
Nature, “About Nature,” accessed December 6, 2015, http://www.nature.com/nature/
Rabinwitz, Celia. “Working in a Vacuum: A Study of the Literature of Student Research
and Writing,” Research Strategies 17, no. 4 (2000): 337–346.
Rapchak, Marcia and Ava Cipri. “Standing Alone No More: Linking Research to a Writing
Course in a Learning Community,” Portal: Libraries & the Academy 15, no.4
Slate, “What is Future Tense?” Slate, accessed December 6, 2015, http://www.slate.com/
Van Noorden, Richard. “Publishers Withdraw More an 120 Gibberish Papers,” Nature,
accessed February 24, 2014, http://www.nature.com/news/publishers-with-