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University of Southern MaineLibraries

Basic Research Tutorial: Start Here

Beginning online information literacy instruction, designed to be followed by scheduled classroom instruction by a USM librarian per instructor request.

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Academic Success

USM Huskies know that research skills are essential to academic success.


This site is designed to serve as your starting point for basic information literacy instruction.

What is information literacy? "Information literacy is a set of abilities requiring individuals to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information," (ACRL). 

While Google or Wikipedia may seem like a fast, easy way to find books and articles for class assignments, they are not. Access to the full-text, peer-reviewed articles and other scholarly materials required by your instructors are easily accessed through the USM Libraries website.

The information provided on this site will provide you with a basic explanation of how to access such resources and it should make your college research experience easier and more productive.

The tabs at the top of this page are numbered. Please complete the series in the order in which they are displayed. The short pre- and post-tests will help assess whether you learned the material. 

This instruction is designed to serve only as a starting point. Your instructor may schedule a live class session for you with a USM Librarian. He or she will expand upon the instruction you receive here.

You will learn from this instruction that not all sources are equal, and that it can be a relatively quick, simple process to find good sources that your instructors will accept.

Now, click on the Introduction tab at the top.