An Online Tutorial Taking You Through the Steps of the Library Research Process Information Literacy Tutorial

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When shopping, you are faced with a vast array of choices.  Think of all the different stores and all of the different products and merchandise they carry.  How do we decide what store to go to and when we get there, what we will buy?  How do we decide we need to buy something in the first place?  For most people, the process of shopping is intuitive.  The process of library research is not.  But how different are these two processes really?

Looking for information is very much like looking for a new car, CD, or pair of jeans.  We are bombarded with numerous decisions to make.  What are we looking for?  Where will we look?  How will we look?  Once we find something, how do we determine if it meets ours needs and is good quality?     


What is information literacy and why is it important?

1. Library Map & Virtual Tour

2. Avoiding Impulse Buys
- selecting a topic
        - finding a focus
        - generating research questions

3. Size & Shape of Information
- characteristics of information
        - locating information resources

4. Most Bang for Your Buck
- understanding databases
      - subject searching
      - keyword searching
      - constructing effective search
      - narrowing search results
      - broadening search results

5. Trying it on for Size
- Evaluating information

6. Don't Shoplift!
ethical use of information
       - avoiding plagiarism
       - citing sources

The goal of this tutorial is to take you step by step through the process of conducting library research.  Along the way, we will compare the steps in the research process to shopping.  I know going on a research spree doesn't hold the same sense of excitement as a shopping spree, but we are going to try to have fun along the way.  And hopefully, by the end of our spree, you will feel more comfortable and competent  using the library and its resources without having to have spent a dime.

Note: There may be issues in printing quiz results when using browsers other than Internet Explorer.

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Information Mall 2004 Amy Faubl, McHenry County College Library.  Information Mall incorporates material from TILT (Texas Information Literacy Tutorial) Copyright 1998-2003. The University of Texas System Digital Library. This material may be reproduced, distributed, or incorporated only subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the TILT Open Publication License. (The latest version is available at