An Online Tutorial Taking You Through the Steps of the Library Research Process Trying it on for Size

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Tutorial Contents:
  1. Library Map & Virtual Tour
  2. Avoiding Impulse Buys
  3. Size & Shape of Information
  4. Most Bang for Your Buck
  5. Trying it on for Size
  6. Don't Shoplift!


Evaluating Resources


Most of us don't have the luxury of being able to buy indiscriminately without having to make choices.  Unless you are rich, you have to decide which shirt or pair of shoes to buy.  In your mind, without probably being even completely conscious of it, you have a list of criteria you tick through to help you make that difficult shopping decision.  Some of the criteria might be price, quality of the item, how versatile it is, what else you own that will match it, if you own anything else like it.   Anyway, you get the picture.  This usually is a fairly quick process and we leave the store feeling pretty confident in our decision.   There are always a few exceptions to this, that impulse buy that ends up in the back of your closet with the tags still on it.  You know the one--it makes you cringe each time you see it because of all the money you wasted on it. 

Just as in shopping, we want to be smart about the information sources we choose to use.  Poor information choices don't cost us in the same way poor shopping decisions do.  There is not always a  monetary loss, but there are losses just the same--a lower grade, a bad decision based on faulty information, a blow to your reputation when you spout off inaccuracies, not getting that job because you went to the interview without getting your facts straight first.  The impact might be large or small, but don't fool yourself into thinking information doesn't matter.  Ever heard the phrase "information is power?"   Well maybe it should be "good information is power." 

So, how does making good information decisions become as easy and automatic as making good shopping decisions?  First, we need to arm ourselves with a list of criteria we can use.  Open the attached rubric for Evaluating Resources.  You can print it out for future reference.  Be sure to close the document when you are done to return to the tutorial.

Evaluating Resources Rubric

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