Teaching research as a cognitive process rather than a set of skills and thereby ensuring critical thinking has been a concern of instructions librarians for some time. This article explains the design, rationale, and use of an innovative assignment, the encyclopedia entry, in a 200 level library credit course that targets sophomores and transfer students. At Western Washington University this course, “Library 201: Introduction to Research Strategies”, has historically required students to produce a free‐standing annotated bibliography. The encyclopedia entry assignment integrates “point of need” relevance into the course because the students choose sources that provide information which will actually be used in writing an encyclopedia entry.
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