Information Need Checklist

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A checklist to help you consider the kinds of information that will meet your research needs. Use that information to help you create a search strategy. Handout for Empire State College @Home: Introduction to Searching Online Workshop.

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Information Need Checklist

  1. 1. Research @ the Library: Information Needs Checklist Before you start searching on your topic, you must define what kind of information you need. Doing so will save you time and effort later on and help you find more useful resources. Use this checklist to define your need: Research Topic/Thesis: __________________________________________ Key Words: ___________ ___________ ___________ _________ _________ Check all that apply: 1. Assignment Requirements  Type of assignment (essay, research, compare-contrast, etc.):______________  Minimum number of sources to consult: _________________ 2. Timeframe  Current information (e.g., published in last 3, 5 years or 10 years)  Historical information (do you need to look at the history of the topic?) 3. Place  Limit topic by geographic location? Countries or region(s): _________________________________ 4. Publication Type What kinds of materials might contain useful information?  Reference Materials (definitions, encyclopedia entries, etc.)  Journals  Magazines  Newspapers  Books  Websites  Government documents/reports  Multimedia (images, video, audio, etc.) 5. Information Type  Peer-reviewed/scholarly journals  Popular periodicals (National Geographic, Time, etc.)  Primary sources (original research or account of event)  Secondary sources (interpretation of others' work)  Statistics  Opinions (pro or con, essays, etc.) Center for Learning and Technology SUNY Empire State College -1- 7/10/08
  2. 2.  Other (case studies, literature reviews, biographies, etc.) Center for Learning and Technology SUNY Empire State College -2- 7/10/08

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