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The research skills tutorial


InfoPower is an adaptation of the Pot of Gold tutorial designed at the University of Notre Dame by Laurie McGowan, Instructional Designer, Tim Jones, UI/Graphic Designer, and Sherri Jones, Head of the User Services Learning & Assessment team for the Hesburgh Libraries. The creators of this tutorial generously allowed us to use their tutorial as a starting place for our own tutorial while allowing us to add, modify, and edit content as necessary.

Pot of Gold was adapted for San Jose State University in 2015 by Ann Agee, Librarian; Silke Higgins, Librarian; Cameron Weigel, Information Technology Consultant; and Jessie Cai, Database/Web Programmer.

Pot of Gold can be viewed at . Both Pot of Gold and InfoPower are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. The full text of the license is available at

Questions about InfoPower can be sent to

Student Learning Objectives for the InfoPower Tutorial

Information Cycle

  • The timeline for producing scholarly information
  • The resources available throughout the information cycle
  • The types of information used and produced in different disciplines
  • Identify what type of source is best depending on the information needed
  • Identify the differences between primary and secondary sources


  • Learn how to analyze an assignment
  • Know the features of an effective thesis statement


  • Employ efficient database searching techniques: keyword and subject searches
  • Learn how to join search terms using AND, OR, NOT and their effect on a search
  • Learn how to solve common search problems, such as too few or too many results


  • Learn how to find the full text of articles from a database
  • Learn how to locate a print book in the library


  • Evaluate information in terms of currency, authority, accuracy, relevance, and purpose.
  • Know the key differences between popular and scholarly resources


  • How to use information ethically
  • How to recognize and avoid plagiarism