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Last Updated: Jul 13, 2017 URL: http://mckendree.libguides.com/acc431 Print Guide RSS Updates

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What is Information Literacy?

What is information literacy?
"Information literacy is a set of abilities requiring individuals to "recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information." Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education.American Library Association . 2006."

In other words, you should be able to know where to go for information (should I go to Google? Or would a database be better?), decide what articles or sources are the best fit for an assignment, and be able to use that information correctly in a paper or project. It also means being able to tell the difference between good and bad information, because there is a lot of both kinds out there on the Web. 

 

Determining Your Need

Once you have your topic, and want to determine the type of information required for your research topic, you will need to answer the following questions:

  • What kind of information do I need?  Do it need to be facts, figures, statistics, opinions, pro's and con's of a hot topic, historical background, or biographical profiles?
  • Do it need to be primary or secondary information?  Or both?
  • How much information do I need to use?  Can it be limited, or do it need to be in-depth coverage?
  • What are the parameters that I should follow?  Is there a specific time period, geographic location, age, gender, culture, or point of view?
  • Do I need to find peer-reviewed, scholarly sources?

Once you know the answers, write them down to determine which resources to use and you are on your way! 

Where do I get the information from?

Determine whether you will search for the information within each resource and how you should retrieve it.  If you need assistance, ask the reference Librarian for help

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