Information Skills & Literacy

"Information literacy is knowing when and why you need information, where to find it, and how to evaluate, use and communicate it in an ethical manner." (CILIP, 2004).

The resources on this page will help you to develop your skills in order to become information literate. The ability to find and use good quality information is essential to success in your academic career and beyond, as your tutors and future employers alike will be looking for these skills. These skills can also help you to meet your information needs in your day-to-day life.

Getting started

The following pages on the Library website will help you to learn about the libraries at the University of Essex and how to find your way around.

Finding resources

The main way to locate resources in the Library is to use the library search engine. Users in Southend will also need to make use of the Southend catalogue, 'Iguana'.


The following guides will help you to use the library search and other Library tools to find particular resource types.

finding information

The following guides will help you to do research based on your information need. Are you looking for your weekly readings for your seminar? Or researching an essay or assignment? Or are you planning a dissertation or thesis?

Doing Research

Here are some more in-depth guides which explain how to find and evaluate scholarly information, sometimes called literature searching. This is something you will need to do for essays, projects, assignments, dissertations and theses.

Literature Searching (or Can't I just use Google?)

This guide is designed to help you carry out an effective literature search, by identifying suitable resources, assessing the results you get and managing your references.

Other library guides and useful information

Help with Accessing eResources

A troubleshooting guide to using Library online resources.

Using the Library Catalogue

This guide explains how to search the "classic" version of the Library Catalogue (the index to all resources held by The Library) and how to manage your library record including self-renewals. This is an alternative to Encore.

Study and Research Skills books in the Library

This is a list of useful study and research skills books available in The Library.

Subject Guides

Each subject guide contains information on locating relevant resources specifically selected by library subject specialists.

Subject Librarians

We have a team of subject librarians who can offer specialist support for your information needs. Find out who your subject librarian is and get in touch.

free information skills tutorial

Safari Open University Online Tutorial

Referencing Guides

Cite them right [Library eResource]
Reference Guides (University of Essex, Talent Development Centre)


The University of Essex
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