The Information Seeking Process: Start Here!
Welcome to Sauk Valley Community College’s Information Literacy Guide!
After watching the videos, completing the activites and exploring some of the related videos featured on each of these pages, you will be what is considered an information literate student.
Watch this video to learn about why Information Literacy is important.
Information Literacy: Overview
Carefully review the steps of the information seeking process below to learn more. We will go into further detail about these steps in the other tabs of this LibGuide.
The Information Seeking Process: Steps
1. Select Your Information Need
The first step is figuring out what it is that you need. Before you head to the library or log on to your computer, refer to your assignment to find answers to questions like:
- What do I need to do to complete the assignment?
- What are my topic and thesis statement?
- What keywords should I use when I begin my search?
2. Search for Information
You have many options when it comes to finding the information that you need to complete your assignment. You can use print and electronic books; print magazines, trade publications and scholarly journals; electronic magazines and journals; and other sources like films, interviews and appropriate online resources.
3. Evaluate Information
You know what type of information you're looking for and you've found information in the sources that meet your assignment's requirements. After locating these sources, the next step is to make sure that what you have found is high quality information. Ask questions of your source to determine its accuracy or authority, objectivity, currency and scope:
- What are the author's credentials?
- Is the material factual and unbiased?
- Is there a copyright date?
- What is the breadth and depth of the source's coverage of the topic?
4. Use Information Responsibly
You’ve reached the point where you have collected enough information to complete the assignment. As you craft your final project, you must give credit for your use of other researchers’ ideas or words in order to maintain academic integrity. Failure to do so can result in plagiarism, which has serious consequences.