How to Search and Find
Use the following groupings of tutorials and guides to learn how to search for information. This page is an attempt to organize instructional tools and materials so that they can be used to meet or enhance one or more of the ACRL Information Literacy Competencies
. The tools can serve as a starting point to learn information and strategies related to the competency.
- Need help deciding what you're looking for or what type of information you need?
AKA "Determine the extent of information needed"
- Developing a Good Research Question/Thesis Statement (4 minute screencast; produced by William Badke and Richard Baer)
Developing a Research Topic: Brainstorming Chart - A brainstorming activity on how to narrow down topics (the next page has an interactive or printable version of the chart).
Finding Scholarly Sources - a two-page handout with tips on locating and identifying scholarly or peer-reviewed journal articles.
Research Project Calculator - an interactive planning tool to help you follow the steps needed for an excellent research project in a timely manner (created by INFOhio).
- Need to know where to look for information and how best to do it?
AKA "Access the needed information effectively and efficiently"
- One Search & More (4 minute screencast; produced by Jessie Long; 2013)
- Searching Databases (5 minute screencast; produced by Yavapai College Library; 2011)
- Using Controlled Vocabulary for Better Search Results (5 minute screencast; produced by Kirsten Young-Abotsi; 2009)
- What are Databases and Why You Need Them (2 minute screencast; produced by Yavapai College Library; 2011)
- Need to know how to tell useful information from not so useful information?
AKA "Evaluate information and its sources critically and incorporate selected information into one’s knowledge base"
- Evaluating Web Sites Using the CRAAP Test (5 minute screencast; produced by John Burke; 2013)
- Anatomy of a Scholarly Article (interactive diagram; produced by NCSU Libraries; 2009)
- How to Evaluate the Information You Find - a two-page handout outlining some helpful criteria for evaluating information sources of all types (PDF).
- Need help in creating something with the information you search for?
AKA "Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose"
- Use the Research Log handout to figure out your topic, identify words to search with, find the information you need, and cite your sources in a bibliography.
- Watch this tutorial on conducting a Literature Search to see how to create a list of sources on your topic (8 minute screencast; produced by Beth TUmbleson; 2010).
- Need guidance on using information appropriately?
AKA "Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surounding use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally"
- Citing Sources (links to citation guides and tools)
- A Tutorial on Plagiarism (9 minute screencast; produced by William Badke; 2008)
- FAQ - What is Plagiarism? - What Are Copyright Laws? (produced by Plagiarism.org; 2013)
Be sure to see the Tutorials & Screencasts
and Research Guides & Tools
pages for a fuller list of resources. Or ask a librarian