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Information Literacy Guide: Think about your need


After completing this SECTION, you will be able to:

  • define your need for information,
  • think critically about your topic and need,
  • read about your topic and start making notes,
  • define keywords by:
    • drawing a mind map,
    • selecting broader and narrower subject terms,
    • identifying different spellings or words
  • understand that the financial cost of information is an important issue.

Think about your information need

What is the problem, question or topic you need information on?

You have now identified that you need information and have a vague idea about the topic. Next you have to formalise your central search question before you can start looking for information.

You have now identified the topic you need information on. The topic is "Aids in the workplace". Remember in some cases your lecturer will give you a specific topic and you won't have to identify one yourself. In such cases you look very carefully at precisely what is asked of you, so that you can formulate your central search question accurately.

When it comes to decisions in your personal life, you will have to identify your need and formulate your own search question to be able to start searching for information, e.g. buying a cellular phone, a car or a house, etc. The more questions you ask, the better your eventual answers will be.