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Information Literacy Tutorial: Finding Sources

How to Use this Section

This part of the tutorial consists of 3 sections containing readings, videos and assessment quizzes. Read through the information on these pages, watch the videos, and answer the questions. The content in these sections is best followed from top-to-bottom beginning with the left column.

Part 4 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 4A, 4B, and 4C. 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.

4A:  Searching & Exploring covers the larger issue in research: Searching is strategic. Research is not always a straight line from question to answer. The 'Research Daisy' shows that the process often comes back on itself. The non-graded reseach process activity helps to understand why one method may be better than another. 

4B: Search Strategies The "Exploring the Research process" activity helps to explain how different sources and search strategies relate to a project. 

4C: Finding Sources explores the different types of sources that you may be asked to find.

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

  • Distinguish between primary and secondary sources.
  • Utilize different techniques during the search process 


4C: Finding the right starting place

Tip! If you are unsure of what your topic is about exactly or if you come across words and phrases that you don't know the meaning of, checka reference source to help you understand. These sources can provide more keywords and synonyms  

  • Choose the right database or search engine Library databases are tools to find  journal and news articles. 

Tip! For help choosing a database or search engine, consult the subject drop down list or ask your librarian. Librarians are happy to help you figure out where to look.

Tip! Remember the Information Cycle!  Your topic may not have a book directly related, but by using keyword and synonyms you may be able to find related materials.

Think about what sort of material you would like to find, and use those expectations to shape your research plan.

4C: Types of Sources

Primary, Secondary & Tertiary Sources

The information you find and use along the cycle of research can also be broken down into three types of sources: primary, secondary and tertiary. Is there enough info on your topic? If not, review the earlier steps for starting your research. It's normal to refine and revise your topic multiple times.


Graphic CC by : Hesburgh Libraries Pot of Gold

4C: Quiz

After reading through the content of this section and watching the video, take the quiz to test your understanding. Please Note:  If you are taking this for a class, and accessed it through Blackboard, return to blackboard and take the Quiz in Blackboard.