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Information literacy: Answers

Question 1 + answer

What are appropriate sources to use in the orientation phase? Name two.


The quickest way to get a general idea about an initial subject is to look in a printed or online handbook or encyclopedia.

Other reference works may be useful as well, such as a dictionary.

Don't forget, you can always ask an expert (i.e. your lecturer) to help you get started.

Question 2 + answer

Name two ways to define your topic.


There are various ways to define a topic, for example:

  • geographical: which country/region?
  • period: which year(s), decade, century?
  • language: Dutch, English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic...

Question 3 + answer

For the following subject, find

  • a synonym
  • a different spelling
  • a broader search term that will produce more results

Subject: Renaissance painting in 14th-century Tuscany


If you have looked in handbooks or encyclopaedias, for example, you might have discovered the following:

  • A synonym for the term ‘renaissance’ is ‘rebirth’, and ‘mannerism’ is the term for the late Renaissance.
  • ‘14th-century’ can also be written as ‘fourteenth-century’.
  • The 14th century is still within the period of history known as the Middle Ages, but the Renaissance continues into the Early Modern period.
  • Tuscany is Toscana in Italian.
  • ‘Italy’ is a broader search term for ‘Tuscany’.

These are just a few possible answers.