Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
university logo

University Library

First Year Writing Instructor's Library Guide

This guide is for First Year Writing Instructors teaching ENGL 1005A/B, 1010, 1050, 2030, and 3010

About these Tutorials

The following tutorials are self-paced and open to all students.

Created by Cal State LA faculty Librarians, the tutorials focus on information literacy skill development and familiarizing students with library resources. They were designed for students enrolled in English Composition (aka First Year Writing) courses.

The recommended approach is to assign a course tutorial OR topic tutorials, but not both course and topic tutorials as there may be some repetition.

Upon completion of a tutorial, students receive a certificate which they can submit for credit.

Topic tutorials take approximately 10-20 minutes to complete and course tutorials take approximately 30-45 minutes to complete.

Tutorials by Topic

Types of Sources and Peer Reviewtypes of sources image

Provides an overview of the types of sources commonly used in college writing. Covers the differences between popular and scholarly sources, the peer review process, and provides an activity to put knowledge into practice.

Direct Link:

Gale Opposing Viewpoints 

Provides an overview of how to use the database Gale Opposing Viewpoints in Context, a great database to explore controversial issues early-on in the research process. Provides reference overviews (an excellent alternative to Wikipedia) and related articles to get you started.

Direct Link:

Citing Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism

Covers the importance of citing sources in college writing, including reasons why we cite, direct quote vs. paraphrase, how citation and plagiarism are intertwined, and style guides.

Direct Link:

Developing a Topic

Provides strategies for brainstorming topics and an overview of library databases designed to help students with exploratory research.

Direct Link:

Finding Sources

A very brief introduction to finding sources using OneSearch and Library Databases. Please contact a Librarian or visit the library's research help page for further help finding sources.

Direct link:

Tutorials by Course

English 1005B / 1010

Learning outcomes:

  • Find sources you can use in your writing to support your claims.
  • Describe the pros and cons of using Google, OneSearch, and Library Databases.
  • Process and begin to evaluate sources.

Direct Link:

English 1050

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand the information cycle and how it impacts the depth of coverage on a topic.
  • Understand the advantages of using library resources over Google to do college research.
  • Evaluate sources to determine their credibility, purpose, and relevance for an argument.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of how to find sources consistent with what you need using library databases.

Direct Link:

English 2030

  • Understand how scholarly research differs from other types of sources found in technical writing.
  • Analyze the structure and organization of a scientific scholarly article reporting on research study.
  • Evaluate a scientific, data-heavy article for authority, purpose, and relevance to a topic.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how to use search strategies such as keywords and library OneSearch/database filters.

Direct link:

Canvas Modules

In addition to the tutorials above, there are self-paced courses available through Canvas Commons, including modules on MLA Style, ENGL 1050, and Library Basics. See the PDF below for instructions on how to view and download modules to your Canvas course.


Want to create your own infographic? Check out Canva and Piktochart.

See the Digital Humanities Guide for more information about digital tools.

John F. Kennedy Memorial Library
California State University, Los Angeles
5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90032-8300