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Information Literacy: Be Savvy about your Sources: Research Help

Information-savvy: Having a shrewd understanding of how to deal with information. Alternative descriptions: "Information Competency" or "Information Fluency"

I need a topic.

Hint: Many people start with a topic that is too BIG, and need to narrow down their topic.

DEFINE your topic in a sentence.

Best practices:
Consider multiple keywords, synonyms, or points of view.
Narrow your topic down to meet assignment’s stated goals.

I need to find articles.

Hint: Use Library Databases to get Peer Reviewed articles.

FIND a variety of resources.

Best practice:  Find multiple sources of peer-reviewed research.

I need to decide WHICH articles are worth my time.

CHOOSE the most relevant, trustworthy, and current resources.

is for RATIONALE, the reason it exists.  This will also let you know what the content BIAS is.
is for AUTHORITY, is the author an EXPERT? Who says?
is for DATE, is it CURRENT information? Some theories change in days.
A is for ACCURACY of information. Is the information you are receiving COMPLETE and IN CONTEXT, or cherry-picked and deceiving?
R is for RELEVANT, this could also be the first thing.  If it isn't useful for your goal, don't waste your time by reading.

If information doesn't pass a RADAR test, it is probably not worth your time.

More mnemonics

Caution: If you decide to use content that is unreliable, biased, or from an anonymous source, be careful to explain why you are still using such untrustworthy information.  

I have to CITE the borrowed quotes and ideas that I want to use.

Hint: Keep track of where you get your information - FROM THE BEGINNING The citation allows other people to re-search for the same information.

USE your sources of information ethically and accurately.

Visualizing the process

Search databases with  different words and limits. Ask a librarian if you get too many or too few results.

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