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Research Process

Search Strategy

HERE IS AN INTERACTIVE TUTORIAL ABOUT SEARCH STRATEGY:

SEARCH STRATEGY

Your concept map or topic worksheet should have helped you to identify key terms to use to search online databases, book catalogs, or on the Web.  You also learned how to identify and select different types of resources, and you practiced selecting a database appropriate to your topic. 

Most databases allow you to enter multiple terms in combination to find the articles that most closely match your specific topic.  Some search strategies are listed below:

Also, in some databases you might place an asterisk (*) after a word to pull up all variant endings, for instance student* will pull up student or students.

In some databases, quote marks (“”) around words will pull up the words next to one another, for instance “sleep deprivation”.

Now for multiple terms:  Remember, you might begin by writing your topic as a research question.  For example,

How does sleep in students affect their success?

Next, you should identify the key concepts in your research question.

How does sleep in students affect their success?

(You might add a Concept 4 for college or university).

Because authors do not always use the same terms to describe specific concepts, it is helpful to think of some synonyms for these terms before you begin your search.

Concept 1    

Concept 2

Concept 3

sleep          

     students

success

"sleep deprivation"  

succeed

   

grades

 

 

 

Another example:
How does violence in video games affect children?

Next, you should identify the key concepts in your research question.

How does  violence in video games affect children?

Because authors do not always use the same terms to describe specific concepts, it is helpful to think of some synonyms for these terms before you begin your search.

Concept 1    

Concept 2

Concept 3

violence          

“video games”

child

violent

“computer games”

children

 

 

youth

Adapted from Central Michigan University (Off-Campus Library Services) Literature Review libguide.

 

 

Choosing Search Terms

Seminole State Library.  Choosing Search Terms.  Retrieved from http://youtu.be/AXXbBMT0BtY