Georgia Highlands College

The 21st Century Researcher


Most college students know how to jump on Google and find a website, article, or video about a particular topic; however, recent research by Project Information Literacy suggests that a large percentage of students have several major problems with research including: getting started, evaluating sources, and getting help. In addition, students that particpated in this same study used very few Web 2.0 tools to help them with their research.

Problems like the ones above can cause students a lot of stress and can lead to plagiarism or failure. Luckily, students have access to a wealth of free, easy to use resources including web applications, librarians, and tutors. 


As a college student, you'll be expected to find, evaluate, and organize information in almost every class that you take. The goal of this module is to introduce you to 21st century research techniques and to help you acquire basic skills for doing quality research in your academic, professional, and personal life.

Upon completing the 21st Century Researcher module you will be able to:

  • begin your research and seek help when needed
  • compare and evaluate different types of sources
  • explore Web 2.0 research tools 

Assessing Your Research Skills:

Think you're a master researcher? Take this short quiz and find out!


Getting Started

Most students have problems getting started with their research. Luckily, there are several methods that you can use to get your research up and running. Watch this 30-second video and learn 3 different techniques! If you can't see the video below, visit: 



Evaluating Sources:

1) Look at this guide on evaluating your sources. If you can't see the embedded guide below, visit: 

2) Based on what you just learned above, compare these two websites:



Getting Help

Did you know that you can get help from Librarians without even stepping foot in the Library with Ask-A-Librarian? Click the Chat Box below to go to the page and explore. If a Librarian is on, try talking to them with the chat box to the left. If not, try typing a question into the search box at the top of the screen to see questions and answers in the FAQ.



Exploring Web 2.0 Tools

Thousands and thousands of free web-based tools and smart phone apps exist to help you organize your research and get done faster. Click the wrench below to learn about just a few of them!




Build and Post Your Plan:

Now that you've reviewed the information above, it's time to create your Research Plan. 

Briefly answer these questions:

  1. How did you feel about your Assessing Your Research Skills quiz results? 
  2. Which of the 3 methods in the "Getting Started" video will you use in the future and why?
  3. Which of the two websites would you use for a reearch paper? Make sure to refer to the guide on evaluating sources.
  4. What was your experience like using Ask-A-Librarian? Would you consider using this for research in the future? Why or why not?
  5. Which Web 2.0 research tool would be most helpful to you personally? Why?


Project Information Literacy Results:


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