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Information Literacy Tutorial: 1. Information & Scholarship

How to use Section 1

Part 1 of the tutorial consists of 3 sections (A, B & C) containing readings, videos and questions. First read through the information and watch the videos on pages 1A, 1B, and 1C. When finished take the quiz at the end of section C. The content in these sections is best followed from top-to-bottom beginning with the left column.

1A: Information & Scholarship
1B: Citing
1C: Plagiarism

After completing this part of the tutorial students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of plagiarism by appropriately and accurately acknowledging the use of information sources.
  • Participate in a scholarly conversation by integrating appropriate sources respectfully into a research assignment.

1A: Why do a research assignment?

what research looks like
 CC by

Many of your college classes will require a research assignment. What is the purpose of this assignment? Understanding this is a very important skill for academic success, and making informed life decisions. This assignment can also be very intimidating for students. Research takes practice, and even though you may believe that you are an expert researcher, you will find this process can be frustrating.

A research assignment is designed as a way for students to participate in academic discourse. By understanding the process, students can apply this knowledge to a variety of circumstances in school, work and life.

A research paper is a combination of Research + Critical Thinking + Source Evaluation + Organization + Composition. Its purpose is to add to a scholarly conversation about a topic and discover new knowledge and ideas.​

Be warned, it is a messy process. Research is not linear, and you will change focus over the course of the project based on new knowledge you encounter in your research. You will probably feel anxious and frustrated during the process, this is a normal reaction. This guide, the NSCC Librarians, the NSCC Tutoring Center, and your professor are here to help you through this.

1A: Academic Discourse

Academic discourse and scholarship involve an exchange of thoughts and words that follow established rules. These conversations have been occurring for thousands of years and have created the world of knowledge we encounter today. When students write research papers they are entering into a scholarly conversation that has preceded them and will continue long after they are done with the paper.

These conversations have multiple perspectives, and convention dictates that these perspectives be recognized. This recognition of ideas can be traced through citations. Researchers, both student and professional, identify the ideas and words they’ve  found by citing the source of the information. This conversation continues and shifts as new ideas are expressed. Many researchers and scholars depend on these citations for their livelihood.

As a student, you participate in academic discourse and create new information by considering these perspectives when forming your own ideas on the topic. These conversations take place in a variety of settings with an array of participants.

Photo: CC by ND Joan M. Mas

1A: Value of Information

In our “information rich” society it is often easy to overlook the value of the information we have access to. All information, whether from a book, journal article, website, Facebook post, or your own personal information has some sort of value. Understanding the value of information, and respecting the creators of information is essential. We’ve all heard the phrase “information is power”, this is reflected in the ways information is published and accessed, as well as the number of companies and individuals profiting from this process.

Creating information takes time, thought and resources. Authors, researchers, and journalists are often paid for their work; it is their livelihood. Websites and companies pay for access to information about the people who use their sites. Copyright and intellectual property laws protect some of these information creators. Whereas privacy policies are designed by companies collecting your personal information to protect their own practices.


Would you want someone to use information about you to make money without your consent? This is an important question to consider and can help you understand the value placed on information. What is your personal information worth to you? How do you feel about companies using your information to make money? Along the same vein, do you think it’s acceptable to use someone else’s ideas or words without acknowledging their contribution?

Photo: CC by SA

1A: The Value of Information

1A: NSCC Academic Honesty Policy

North Shore Community College


Academic Honesty

Members of the North Shore Community College community are expected to act within the standards of academic honesty. Any willfully dishonest behavior is subject to disciplinary action, which may range from that which the instructor imposes relative to the specific course to dismissal from the College, depending on the seriousness of the act. Dishonest academic behavior includes but is not limited to, cheating and plagiarism.

Cheating - use of unauthorized notes during an examination; giving or receiving unauthorized assistance on an examination; copying from someone else’s examination, term paper, homework, or report; theft of examination materials; falsification of works or records. 

Plagiarism - using the words, data, or ideas of another as one’s own, without properly acknowledging their source including those taken from the World Wide Web/Internet. Students should consult a handbook on college writing for guidelines on proper documentation procedures in the various academic disciplines (MLA, APA, etc.). In addition to action taken relative to the specific course, the course instructor may bring any matter related to academic honesty to the Vice President for Academic Affairs for consideration of further disciplinary action. The Vice President will review the case and determine if further action is to be taken. Disciplinary action may be appealed by the affected student(s). A full description of the student grievance procedure is available in the Office of the Vice President for Student and Enrollment Services as well as in the Student Handbook.