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Introduction to Information Literacy for Students

  • ID: 3691516
  • Book
  • 254 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Introduction to Information Literacy for Students presents a concise, practical guide to navigating the myriad sources of information readily available. From selecting research topics and crafting searches to utilizing databases and incorporating source materials into final projects, the authors provide a unique step–by–step method that can be applied to any research project.

Chapters reveal how to craft keyword searches, set up research logs, choose and evaluate the credibility of primary and secondary sources, and properly cite sources. The reader is shown ways to utilize sources effectively and develop critical skills to verify sources for accuracy while mining information.

Individual chapters explore different reference sources and topics available to students, including encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other foundational sources; printed and electronic books, call numbers, and catalogs; databases, periodicals, and scholarly journals; Internet sources and search engines; government and statistical sources; podcasts, social media sites, and other forms of “new media.”

In–chapter activities, sidebars with tips and techniques from industry experts, review exercises, and a comprehensive glossary help clarify key points and terms along the way. From the planning stages to a polished research paper, Introduction to Information Literacy for Students provides students with the necessary skills to gain expertise in the gathering, evaluation, and understanding of the information available in the 21st–century world. 

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List of Figures xi

Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xvii

Flowchart xix

Part I The Method

1 Think Like a Detective 3

Information: The Key to Just about Everything 4

Join the Information Conversation 6

Start Detecting 9

Survey the Research Landscape 13

Take Research One Step at a Time 14

Conclusion 16

Steps to Success 16

Works Cited 16

2 Ask a Compelling Question 18

It All Begins with a Research Question 19

Explore Your Own Interests and Personality 20

Consider the Assignment 22

Brainstorm Ideas 24

Draw a Concept Map 26

Check an Idea Generator 27

Explore the News 29

Test and Refine a Topic 31

Conclusion 32

Steps to Success 33

3 Search for Answers 34

Good News and Bad News 35

Create a Research Log 36

Identify Keywords 39

Truncate KeywordsWhen Necessary 41

Identify Concept Phrases 42

Combine Keywords with Boolean Operators 43

Keep an Open Mind 44

Conclusion 46

Steps to Success 46

Works Cited 47

4 Explore Possible Sources 48

So Many Sources…So Little Time! 49

Distinguish among the Three Categories of Sources 50

Survey the Range of Source Formats 53

Conclusion 62

Steps to Success 62

5 Evaluate Sources 64

Is It Legit—For Real? 65

Is It Relevant? 66

Is It Reliable? 67

Is It Recent? 71

Critically Evaluate Books 72

Critically Evaluate Periodicals 74

Critically Evaluate Webpages 76

Conclusion 77

Steps to Success 78

6 Create a Paper Trail 79

The Case forDocumentation 80

Know Why, What, and How to Cite 81

Cite As You Go 89

Compile an Annotated Bibliography 91

Conclusion 91

Documentation Formats 91

Steps to Success 92

7 Mine Your Sources 93

Getting the Most from Your Sources 94

Interrogate Your Sources 95

Take Effective Notes 97

Follow Leads 101

Conclusion 104

Steps to Success 104

Part II Types of Sources

8 Reference 109

Start in the Right Place 110

Choose the Right Reference Source 111

Search the Online Catalog 115

Check the Ready Reference Collection 116

Search for Online Reference Sources 116

Find and Study Entries in Reference Sources 117

Conclusion 120

Steps to Success 121

9 Books 122

Books: More Than Mere Life–changers 123

Search a Library’s Online Catalog 124

SearchWorldCat 130

Use Item Records 131

Locate Books on Library Shelves 132

Use Interlibrary Loan 134

Look for E–books and Online Books 135

Mine a Book’s Contents 136

Conclusion 137

Steps to Success 137

10 Periodicals 139

Periodicals: Something for Everyone 140

The Basics—Not So Basic 142

Search Databases 145

Manage the Results List 147

Check for Relevance 149

Locate the Complete Article 149

Try Advanced Searching 152

Check Google Scholar and Open Access Journals 155

Browse Periodicals 156

Conclusion 158

Steps to Success 158

11 Statistics 159

The Numbers Game 160

Find Statistics Online 161

Check Government Sources 162

Explore Specialized Sources 163

Conclusion 164

Steps to Success 165

12 Government Sources 166

The World’s Most Prolific Publisher 167

Types of Government Sources 169

Beware of Bias 172

Limit a Catalog Search to Government Sources 172

Search FDsys 173

Run Searches in the U.S. Government Portal or on the Internet at Large 174

Search for Bills and Laws 175

Check Microforms 175

Conclusion 176

Steps to Success 176

13 Webpages 177

An Old Friend in a New Light 178

Cyberspace: It’s Real—and Manageable 179

Run Keyword Searches in Search Engines 182

CaptureWebpages 183

Check Web Directories 184

Follow Links in Librarians’ Subject Guides 185

Be Wary of Wikipedia 185

Conclusion 186

Steps to Success 187

14 Other Sources 188

ButWait, There’s More! 189

Take the Broad View 190

Study Images and Artifacts 191

Listen to orWatch Recordings 192

Interrogate Social Media 193

Interview an Expert 194

Check Newsletters, Brochures, Etc. 198

Conclusion 199

Steps to Success 199

15 Now What? 201

The Value of Information in Your Life 202

Prepare for Future College Courses 203

Prepare for Graduate School 205

Apply Research in the Professional World 208

Use Research to Improve Your Life and Community 210

Conclusion 212

Steps to Success 212

Glossary 213

Index 229

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Michael C. Alewine is the Outreach and Distance Education Librarian at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. He teaches information–literacy courses and research seminars, and he has published and presented on information literacy, student learning and motivation, and teaching and learning in online environments.

Mark Canada is Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Professor of English at Indiana University Kokomo. A 2008 recipient of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors’ Award for Excellence in Teaching, Dr. Canada is author of Literature and Journalism in Antebellum America (2011), and editor of Literature and Journalism: Inspirations, Intersections, and Inventions from Ben Franklin to Stephen Colbert (2013) and Out of the West: Notes from Thomas Wolfe’s Final Western Journey (2014). 

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