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R. Castillo

Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas (COLOMBIA)
English language proficiency is frequently defined in terms of mastery rather than on the types of problems non-native speakers can solve. At universities in which English is the medium of instruction, students need to determine the quality and authority of sources, interpret, assess, and produce error-free academic texts as well as find their own voices. The Internet has facilitated those tasks, however, in the digital age, the volume of information is cumbersome and many students, struggle to find what they actually need from the cyberspace. This paper claims that writers must first have their ideas very clear in their head for being able to search and evaluate the literature, or propose an innovation. Based on Genre theory and ICT-Supported Learning this paper proposes and exemplifies procedures, guides, rubrics, and digital tools used by the author to instruct undergraduate and graduate students to narrow down a research problem, to position themselves vis á vis the issues under scrutiny, to revise their quality of argumentation, to explain the rationale behind their decisions on topic choice, method or instruments. In other words, writing for thinking like scholars. This paper contributes to the discussion that one cannot overestimate the college student’s competences in ICT for they are underused for solving academic writing problems. Information literacy integrated into regular courses moves away a focus on language to a focus on problem-solving of academic tasks. Some of the procedures and digital resources discussed were not developed for academia, but the author has adapted them successfully to help students generate organize, and revise ideas. Information literacy development complements, for example, self-assessment and assessment of drafts with rubrics or peer review.