Why Information Literacy?

Why do you need it? You’ve gotten along fine so far in high school; written book reviews, papers, ppts, given presentations, etc. How different can research really be in college? Let’s look at some recent studies and interviews with students to get an idea of some of the particular issues facing incoming freshmen.

Top Research Challenges for College Freshmen

  • College libraries have 19 times as many databases
  • Overwhelmed at choosing topics
  • Unfamiliar with academic journals

Infographic How Do Freshmen Conduct Research for additional findings on freshmen research. Focus on the steps of research most freshmen find difficult, as well as the resources they find most helpful.

What Do Freshmen Say About College Level Research?

The studies from Project Info Lit and Easybib reveal very similar statistics and results. The following short videos give you an idea of what students actually feel when confronted with these challenges. Watch the 2 ½ minute video PIL Freshmen Studies by ProjectInfoLit.

It is incorrect to assume that because most todays freshmen grew up with a thriving Internet at their fingertips, they are naturals at college­‐level research.  Project Info Lit Research Reports: Learning the Ropes, Dec. 4, 2013.

For more on student’s experiences and teacher’s expectations of high school research, read the following article from the Washington Post which focuses primarily on the requirements for English research papers Long papers in high school Many college freshmen say they never had to do one.


Reflect on the studies, videos and articles then respond to the following questions in a few sentences on this Padlet.

  1. How confident are you that your high school research skills will meet the needs of college level research? Discuss whether or not you have been required to write research papers, how in depth or long they were, and any concerns you have about the research process.
  2. Of the concerns students voiced in the videos, which do you feel you most share? How aware were you of the need for these skills prior to this module?