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University of Southern MaineLibraries

Information Literacy Tutorial: Introduction

It's Not That Hard


Most college-level classes will include reading requirements, term papers, and class participation. You will find that most of your professors will want you to come to class prepared and ready for discussion, having completed assigned readings. Because getting a good education requires considerable financial outlay as well,  you will want to get your money's worth by carrying your share of the load.

A strategy that will serve you well is a simple one and can apply to nearly all courses you take. That strategy involves learning three skills well:

1.  Finding relevant up-to-date books on your topic

2.  Finding relevant up-to-date articles on your topic

3.  Searching the Internet to supplement the articles and books

This tutorial will guide you through each of these steps and more. Keep in mind that librarians are employed by the University to help you find information. That is their job. They are friendly people who will gladly work with you at any time.

Now, click on the Pre-Test tab at the top.


What is an "authoritative" source? It's a source of information that has a clearly identified author and contains a bibliography at the end, which shows the sources the author used. That would include most books, but not every article. Some articles have an obvious author, but lack a bibliography.

It also excludes many websites, since they often lack a clear author, bibliography, a date, and other important features.