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Online Programs: 2. The Information Environment

How to Speak About Information

What to do? Do the following exercise in 3 steps - (4 steps for Power Users): Talk the Talk

This brief exercise helps you acquire essential vocabulary for understanding your course assignments, clarifying issues with your faculty, and consulting with your librarians. 

1.  (20 - 30 min.) Review the tabs and content provided by this LibGuide "Types of Information":  [prepared by April Sheppard, Arkansas State University].

2.  Self-check: Review these sample terms commonly used in college course settings - if they seem unfamiliar, revisit the LibGuide above in Step 1.

  • Subjective information
  • Analytical information
  • Secondary sources
  • A news story as a primary source

3.  (3 min.)  Learn how to recognize a scholarly journal when you see one in print or online - and more: Terms to know:  scholarly article, journal, popular magazine, trade magazine - define what they are and when to use them.

4. Power LINK:  (12 min.) View this content-rich video on how to read a journal article - learn the techniques and save time!   [Russell James, Texas Tech].     Hint:  You don't have to read every word but there are certain features you do need to scan first. Later you will read carefully only the articles you select for your project.


Evaluating All Types of Information Sources - A Common Rubric

Criteria to evaluate information content are AUTHORITY, OBJECTIVITY, QUALITY, CURRENCY, and RELEVANCY. You can use these same criteria, or rubric, to evaluate any journal article, book, website, broadcast, blog, or public speaker. 


What to do?  Read/think about Evaluating Sources from the Research Toolkit linked below.

(15 min.) Read through this guide linked below  to clarify your understanding of these concepts.  

(Permission requested from the University of Nevada at Reno, the Mathewson/IGT Knowledge Center)

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