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Strategies for your Search
STEP 2: INFORMATION SEEKING STRATEGIES
Ask, "What are all the possible sources to check on my topic? Which sources will have the best information?"
Remember that it is your responsibility to evaluate your sources carefully.
How to Research
Some basic research "power tips" to remember:
- Use "advanced search" options when they are available to give you more control of the search results you receive
- Search using keywords, not full sentences or questions. This is essential in database searching!
- Apply filters (full text, type of publication, date, etc.) to limit results to a manageable number
- Still too many results? Try adding more keywords.
- Use "quotation marks" around a multi-word search term to search for that exact sequence of words on a page
- Too few results? Try a broader search with a more general word or fewer keywords.
- Look past the first page of results.
- Get ideas for more search terms as you read an article that is a "good fit" with your assignment. Check for "Related Subjects" lists in some databases.
- Ctrl+F (PC) or Command+F (Mac) will search for text within a webpage or any other digital document. Use this strategy to find specific information on a page.
- Collect APA citation information as you go, so you will not have to back-track later!
- Be patient! Realize that quality researching takes time and multiple tries. You will learn a lot if you are persistent.
Skill: Evaluating Sources using RADCAB
For this assignment, you are required to find sources that represent two opoosing viewpoints on your issue. Evaluate each potential source carefully and select three "high-quality" sources to represent each side.
- Does the source clearly express and explain its viewpoint?
- Is there enough supporting detail for you to work with? (Look for facts, statistics, graphs and charts, expert statements)
- Do the sources represent a biased but reasonable position (vs. a very extreme, aberrant position)?
Basic Knowledge: What Are Databases and Why You Need Them
Skill: Keyword Searching in Databases