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Information Literacy Tutorial

A module-based information literacy tutorial that addresses each stage of the research process, including selecting a topic, identifying information needs, selecting sources, locating information, evaluating information, and citing sources.

Media Types

Media Types


Definition: Media is the plural form of the word medium.  A medium is a way of communicating or transmitting information.  So, media refers to all the ways in which we communicate information.


In libraries, there are two primary media we collect: print and electronic. 

 Books and articles are traditionally thought of as print sources, but now with the Internet, many printed resources are now available electronically.  Regardless of whether content appears in print or electronic format, it is important that you are able to assess whether it is reliable and authoritative.  Some other features of the media appear in the chart at the bottom.

   Each medium (print and electronic) is comprised of a variety of formats:

Print formats

Digital formats

  • Books

  • eBooks

  • Periodical articles

  • Online journals

  • Pamphlets

  • Web pages

  • Maps

  • CD-ROMs

  • Government documents, etc.

  • DVDs, etc.




Often Best For


  • Usually goes through an editorial process for reliability
  • May be accessed without a computer
  • Not dependent on network connections or speeds
  • Provides historical context
  • Longer works such as books and book chapters
  • Historical research
  • Background information


  • Information may be updated easily
  • Often up-to-the-minute information
  • May be keyword searchable
  • May be accessed outside of the library
  • Multiple students can look at the same information at the same time
  • Easily print, download, or manipulate information
  • Shorter works such as articles
  • Late-breaking news
  • Numerical data that needs to be manipulated





University of the Western Cape,

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Tel: 021 959 2946