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Journal of Academic Librarianship






Discourse surrounding the pedagogy of undergraduate information literacy sessions is robust and plentiful, but graduate students in research-oriented degrees also need a strong understanding of disciplinary resources throughout the coursework stage of their programs. Library sessions guided by ACRL's Framework help to scaffold graduate students' knowledge of the current scholarly information landscape and how to navigate this landscape effectively and efficiently. In addition, these sessions establish the significance of the literature review in identifying subject epistemologies, paradigms, methodologies, and theoretical approaches. For graduate students, this provides an opportunity to conceptualize how to employ the presented material in the context of their research ideas. At our institution, we present information literacy sessions for graduate students enrolled in research methods courses prior to starting their theses and dissertations. Based on our experiences conducting individual research consultations with graduate students and our discussions with faculty who supervise graduate students' theses and dissertations, we developed a set of elaborative interrogation questions regarding the literature review process. Elaborative interrogation, as an instructional strategy, has been widely used in education, but its potential has hardly been explored in the context of information literacy instruction. We embed these questions throughout the sessions to help students develop a mental framework for the purpose of a literature review as it relates to the development of a thesis or dissertation. The purpose of adding these elaborative prompts is to engage students metacognitively, making them aware of the research process with the information presented during the session, and it helps them to acknowledge the iterative nature of literature review process.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Elsevier in the Journal of Academic Librarianship on May 19, 2021, available online: https://

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.