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Expert Researchers- Information Literacy @ Trinity

This guide serves as a reference point for students at Trinity to become Expert Researchers by incorporating skills and practices central to attaining information literacy.

Beginner Skills

Below are the skills you should ideally have in order to do research in your 100-200 level courses at Trinity.

  1. Identify free and fee based resources
  2. Explain the differences between free and fee based resources
  3. Access the library’s databases
  4. Ask an expert for help as needed
  5. Use Keywords
  6. Identify parts of a bibliographic record
  7. Limit search results
  8. Confirm whether popular/scholarly source is required for assignment
  9. Explain audience and purpose of scholarly sources
  10. Choose a topic that will have scholarly material available
  11. Capture all citation elements of each source chosen
  12.  Use citation generators judiciously

The following tutorials can help you acquire Beginner Researcher status:

What’s the Deep Web? - CSUSBURL 

Discusses the difference between the free information that's readily available on the internet through search engines like Google, and the valuable research available in the "deep web"- and why libraries are your best way to access it.

Understanding Scholarly Sources - NCSUURL

Most of the time, your professor will require you to use what is called a scholarly source in your assignment. This video tells you not only what scholarly sources are, but also their publishing process, and how to find them in the library databases.

Scholarly vs. Popular Articles - UNCURL

So you know you need scholarly sources for your assignment, but how do you tell the difference between a scholarly article and a popular article? This video breaks down 5 main criteria to help you determine whether an article is popular or scholarly.

Popular and Scholarly Sources: the Information Cycle - CSUSBURL

‚ÄčIn this video, you not only review the differences between popular and scholarly sources, you also see where each type of source falls in the information cycle, and how that can help you choose the most appropriate type of resource for your needs.

"Picking Your Topic" - NCSUURL

Many people think that the research process begins with choosing a topic and sticking with that same topic throughout their project. This video explains how too narrow or too broad of a topic can be difficult to research, and that evolving your topic based on the existing literature is the best way to ensure your research isn't overwhelming.

"One Perfect Source?" - NCSUURL

We've all had that thought- "why is there no research on my topic???!?!?". This video explains that while it's unlikely that there is one single article that address your thesis perfectly, by breaking down your search into subtopics, you can find information that supports your ideas.

Choosing a Research Topic - Interactive Tutorial - UMNURL

OK, so you know you topic will probably change as you do research for your assignment, but how do you pick a topic in the first place? Along with consulting your assignment and professor, this interactive tutorial helps you turn a general topic into a refined research question using specific techniques, such as mind mapping. 

Creating an Effective Search Strategy - PurdueURL

Searching a library database is not the same as searching in search engine, like Google. After writing your research topic or question, look for main ideas and keywords to use when building your search. You may find that different combinations of your keywords give you different results.

Creating an Effective Search Strategy - UMNURL

This video shows you how to build an effective search strategy by using keywords and components with "and" & "or" to get appropriate search results.

Selecting and Using Keywords - UWFURL

Learn how to use your research topic to generate usable keywords for your searches, as well as learning how to use scholarly articles to find other keywords and research on your topic.

Choosing Good Keywords - UNCURL

This video covers keyword searching in academic databases as well as search engines like Google.

What Are Citations? - Interactive Tutorial - UMNURL

You probably have heard that citing your resources is important, but what are citations, exactly? This interactive tutorial tells you not only what citations are, but teaches you how to read them, and goes over the different styles of citations that are out there.

Citation: A (Very) Brief Introduction - NCSUURL

This introduction to citation gives you the basics of citing as a practice: what it is, why it's important, and what makes up a proper citation.