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Effective searching techniques to help you find information
General Searching Tips
Keyword vs. Subject
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OWL: Purdue Online Writing Lab
Provides useful information on writing papers, from choosing topics to citing sources.
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Assist students in writing course-related written assignments including writing essays, research papers, and MLA and APA documentation.
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Choosing Best Sources Guide
Citation Resources Guide
Choosing a Topic Guide
General Searching Tips
Start your research early because it will take some time to find some good sources.
Your goal is to find a manageable list of relevant sources that support the points you make in your paper.
You will probably want to do some initial or background searching to explore the issues involved with your topic so you can narrow it down.
You will probably do a fair amount of reading and will not use everything you read.
Research is a process of trial and error. You may not find what you are looking for on the first attempt.
You may need to make some "mistakes" and try several search strategies and various terms before you find what you are looking for.
Do not type in a question. Choose the most important words to describe your topic. These are called 'keywords.'
Good Example: video games and children
Not So Good Example: Are violent video games harmful to children?
Always be on the lookout for possible search terms.
Once you find a good source, note what keywords or subject headings
this resource uses to describe your topic to use in future searches.
Academic sources will use a more formal language so you may get better results if you don't use slang or informal language. Example: "children" or "juveniles" as opposed to "kids"
Keep track of what terms you have tried, and where, so you don't waste time and repeat your efforts.
Start your Works Cited page as you are doing your research. Many of the databases have citing tools.
It's a good idea to not only print, but email, or save an electronic copy of articles in case you lose the print out.
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Jan 22, 2019 3:04 PM
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