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Information Literacy

To be information literate, a person must be able to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information. Information literate people are those who have learned how to learn.

What is Information Literacy?

Information Literacy is the set of critical skills needed to find, retrieve, analyze, and use information. These skills are necessary to becoming an independent lifelong learner.

An information literate person can ...

Determine the extent of information needed:

  • Define the extent of the research question or thesis (theory, argument, proposal, etc.).
  • Identify key concepts (ideas).
  • Select information sources that directly relate to identified concepts and answer the research question(s).

Access the needed information:

  • Use effective, well-designed search strategies (systematic processes to search for information).
  • Use most appropriate information sources for the research.

Evaluate information and its sources critically:

  • Systematically and methodically analyze sources (for bias, assumptions, etc.)
  • Evaluate the relevance of information to your research question or thesis (for context, etc.)

Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose:

  • Communicate, organize, and synthesize (combine) information from sources to achieve a specific purpose (paper, speech, business plan, etc.) with clarity and depth.

Access and use information ethically and legally:

  • Cite information correctly within text and references.
  • Paraphrase, summarize, or quote correctly.
  • Use information in ways that are true to original context.
  • Distinguish between common knowledge and ideas requiring attribution (i.e. provide credit for original ideas)
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the ethical and legal uses of information (do not plagiarize, do not violate copyright, etc.)