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Information Literacy: Information Literacy Skills for Students

Information Literacy Skills

  1. Recognize and define the need for information.

  2. Identify information options and choose appropriate sources.

  3. Evaluate the information you find.

  4. Use the information effectively and ethically.

Information Literacy Skill No. 1

Recognize and define the need 

Do you need information, and if so, what information do you need about this subject?

  • Observe: What do you already know?
  • Analyze: What do you suspect is also true?
  • Question: What else do you need to know?

Information Literacy Skill No. 3

Evaluate information

Is your research method bringing you reliable information?
To determine the validity of information, see the Evaluating Information You Find box in Tips for Efficient Research.

Other sources for help with evaluating information:

Information Literacy Tutorial

The following tutorial, in four short video clips, expands on the skills of information literacy, as well as informing the viewer how to access information using the College Library:

Introduction to Information Literacy and Finding Information Using the Library

Information Literacy Skill No. 2

Identify information options, and choose appropriate sources

What kinds of information are appropriate for your needs and how do you search for them?

  • Consider the Information Cycle Timeline5 for the evolving formats of the same information over time. Do you need eyewitness accounts, early news, or later studies?
  • Think of keywords you can use to research this topic; using synonyms and related terms will help you find more information than is possible by using only one term. You can search in Library of Congress Subject Headings for authoritative subject headings for research using books. 

Information Literacy Skill No. 4

Use information ethically

  • Keep good records of the sources of information you use so that you can give credit to them.
  • Avoid plagiarism by giving credit properly to all sources you use.

See Documenting Sources of Information for more on recording and citing sources.

Helpful Information

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