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Information Literacy and the Research Process - Sellersburg: Home*

Information Literacy

The Research Process

Cycle of Research Process

The research process is a cycle that you can apply to research for any course. Refer to these steps to guide you through the process.

  • Chose a topic and get a working knowledge of that topic. State your topic as a question.


  • Planning your search. Identify the main concepts or keywords in your question. Try to think of synonyms for your keywords.


  • Find and access sources. Use the library catalog to find books and eBooks and library databases to find full text articles. You can also find resources on the Internet, but make sure that they are reliable.


  • Evaluate your sources and determine which ones will be most appropriate for your research paper. Do they answer your research question?


  • Cite your sources. If you are not sure on how to cite your sources correctly, refer to our Citing Sources LibGuide or ask a librarian. 



What is Information Literacy?

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) defines information literacy as 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's Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education include five standards focusing upon the needs of students in higher eduction.

Standard One: The information literate student determines the nature and extent of the information needed.

Standard Two: The information literate student accesses needed information effectively and efficiently.

Standard Three: The information literate student evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system.

Standard Four: The information literate student, individually or as a member of a group, uses information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose.

Standard Five: The information literate student understands many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information and accesses and uses information ethically and legally.


The Information Cycle

Information Literacy Quiz

How much do you know about information literacy?

Take the following quiz to see if you are:

Somewhat Savvy (0-5 points)
Moderately Savvy (6-10 points)
Downright Nerdy (10+ points)

1. List 4 major search engines and a major directory.

2. What is a blog?

3. Why might you use quotation marks when conducting a search?

4. URL is an acronym for…

5. Identify three Boolean search terms.

6. How do you find the owner or publisher of a Web site?

7. Identify these extensions and what they represent:

.org     .com

.sch      .k12

.edu     .gov

.ac      .net

.mil     .co

8. How do you find out who is linked to your school’s Web site?

9. What clues in a Web address might indicate you are on a personal Web site?

10. How would you conduct a search for the following: a list of Web sites of all the academic institutions in South Africa? (Hint: South Africa’s country code is .za)

11. How do you find the history of any given Web site?

12. How would you conduct a search for the following: US higher education Web sites that contain the word turtle?

13. How do sites get to the top of a result list in Google?

Answer Key