Online information literacy tutorial

Man and woman looking at a book
Man and woman looking at a book

Use Cranfield University's own tutorial to develop your searching skills and improve your knowledge of referencing and plagiarism.

Go to the online information literacy tutorial

The tutorial is provided within 9 distinct books, which you can work through independently. You don't have to start from the beginning - you can select the most relevant topic at any point. Use the tutorials as an introduction to, or as a reminder, of the skills needed to help complete a task.

The tutorial is designed at two levels - you can dip into the books or you can go deeper and learn all the skills to become fully information literate. Activities are included for you to test what you have learnt and apply the knowledge. Answers are not recorded.

The tutorials are designed to be fun and engaging. Enjoy them.


Tutorial 1. Focussing Your Research Question

  • explains Information Literacy
  • explains the importance of focussing your research question
  • gives an overview of the Information Literacy process

Tutorial 2. Mind the Information Gap

  • explains the difference between information resources and information sources
  • describes different resources available
  • describes different sources and how to find them
  • explains the differences between primary, secondary and tertiary information

Tutorial 3. Search Strategies and Tactics

  • outlines the general principles of searching print and electronic resources
  • describes how to construct a search strategy
  • describes how to skim books, journals and abstracts for content
  • explains how to search electronic resources
  • describes tactics to widen or narrow a search

Tutorial 4. Advanced Searching

  • demonstrates how to refine and improve a database search
  • identifies common errors when searching
  • describes some advanced web searching techniques
  • demonstrates how to locate and retrieve information

Tutorial 5. Evaluating Information

  • explains the continual process of evaluating evidence to solve research questions
  • lists general criteria for evaluating information
  • explains the importance of initial reflection
  • explains the importance of structuring information and further reflection to gain a deeper understanding

Tutorial 6. Organising and Communicating Findings

  • explains how to cite references
  • explains how to organise information and construct bibliographies
  • explains how to communicate information effectively in an appropriate medium

Tutorial 7. Synthesising and Building upon Information

  • describes the benefits of producing (synthesising) new information and knowledge
  • describes synthesising techniques
  • describes research process to create new knowledge

Tutorial 8. Current Awareness

  • explains current awareness
  • describes current awareness resources and methods available

Tutorial 9. Plagiarism and Copyright

  • explains plagiarism
  • explains how to recognise and avoid plagiarism
  • explains copyright and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

Go to the online information literacy tutorial