Skim and Sort

Information Literacy Module VI: Preparing to Use Information Effectively

The first step in processing the information you’ve gathered is to decide which of those sources are worth keeping for close reading and which sources just aren’t what you’re looking for. The best way to do this is to create three piles.

Pile 1: Yes! These sources definitely answer my research question.
Pile 2: Maybe. These sources aren’t exactly what I was looking for, but they might help me develop a better background understanding of the topic.
Pile 3: No Thanks: These sources are not what I hoped they’d be. Either they’re off-topic, laden with jargon, or full of information I already know, so I’m going to put them back where I found them.
Guiding Your Research
Conduct your own skim and sort exercise with the sources you’ve found! Keep three lists (one for each pile). Next to the title of each source, briefly (in one sentence) describe why you decided to list it as a yes, a maybe, or a no.

Helpful Hint: How do you know which sources are good sources of information? Visit Module IV “Evaluating Information” to find out! 

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