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Research 101: 2. Search Strategies

Key Ideas-- Ideas that change everything.

Searching is Exploration:

  • As you search, you will take many twists and turns. You may loop around and backtrack. Relax, you're doing it right. Be flexible, adaptable, and persistent. (Source: ACRL Standards)

 Watch the video below to get prepared. 


Generating Search Terms

video source: Seminole State Library

Generate Search Terms

You have a topic and a research question. Great. But before you can start your search, you'll need to be armed with some search terms (keywords). 

  • Begin by looking at your research question. 
  • Think of synonyms and related ideas for terms in your question. Ask your classmates for suggestions.
  • Consult reference sources like encyclopedias, books, and articles to get a feel for the language used. Remember, you're entering a conversation, and each conversation uses different groups of words.
  • Review library database results to see if subjects are listed.  Use these terms for revising your search. 

*If you are working on the Research Question worksheet from the "Develop Your Topic" tab, you can continue filling out the keyword section. 


Words to Know

Keywords: Words that have great importance.  

Subjects: Articles and databases are often organized by subjects (themes or topics). For example, you can go to our database page. At the bottom of the page you can see the databases grouped by subject. 

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