Starting Your Search
Beginning a search doesn't have to be scary if you take a few moments to come up with a strategy before you start.
1. If you haven't already, choose your topic. And make it a big one. It's easier to refine your topic later than to expand it when you can't find specific information..
2. Turn that topic into a question. Determine what you want to know about your topic. Usually, this means relating your topic to another idea.
3. Come up with a few keywords to use as search terms. You should have two to four to start.
4. Select a database that is likely to have articles on your topic.
5. Type your keywords into separate boxes in the database and click that search button.
6. Check out your results.
Before you begin searching, it's often helpful to come up with a variety of search terms. These are usually nouns - any people, place, or thing that is somehow related to your topic.
Start your search with broad terms. This returns the most article results. As you continue to search, you can begin to narrow down your topic using more specific keywords.
Drawing a bubble chart can help you visualize your search terms. When drawing a bubble chart, you want to think of different subjects and ideas and how they relate to each other and your topic. It also helps to use synonyms because articles don't always use the same terminology.