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Research 101: Information Literacy/Getting Started

A guide to help you develop good research skills!


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".  ACRL, 2000.


MC students should be able to:

  1. Determine the nature & extent of the information needed.
  2. Access needed information efficiently & effectively.
  3. Evaluate information & its sources critically while incorporating selected information into her/his knowledge base.
  4. Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose while working individually or in a group.
  5. Understand the economic, legal, & social issues concerning the use of information while accessing & using information both ethically & legally.


  1. What information do I need and want to know?
    Develop a Topic
         Selecting a Topic 
         Develop Research Questions 
         Identify Keywords
         Find Background Information
         Refine a Topic

    Understanding Different Types of Information  
         Scholarly or Popular?
         Primary or Secondary?
  2. How do I find that information efficiently and effectively?
    Locate Information: 
         Find Books 
         Find Videos
         Find Articles 
         Find Websites
         Using Google 
         Search Strategies

  3. What authorities should I trust?
    Evaluate Sources
         Scholarly vs Popular
         Primary v Secondary Sources
  4. How do I synthesize the information into my own thinking and writing?
    Use Information
  5. How do I acknowledge my sources ethically?
         Avoiding Plagiarism
         Citation Guide


Research Paper Assistance

Research Paper Navigator
(Tufts University)

Use for help with

  • time management
  • library research
  • writing your paper
  • citing sources

Also has subject guides with suggested databases.

Recommended Books