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FYS 100 -- Banned Books (Fall 2014): Class Activity : Search Strategies

Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian novel by Ray Bradbury published in 1953. It is regarded as one of his best works.

The novel presents a future American society where books are outlawed and "firemen" burn any that are found.The title refers to the temperature that Bradbury understood to be the autoignition point of paper.

Creating Search Strategies

Research Question:

What happened with regards to the expurgated version of Ray Bradbury's book Fahrenheit 451?


Using ProQuest, type the above question into the database.

  • How many results do you think the database will retrieve?

  • Why do you think the database retrieved that number of articles?

  • How can the results be improved by using KEYWORDS rather than natural language?

Group work: Students will form groups of 3-4

  • Which words of our search would we leave out if we want to find articles in the database?

  • Each group comes up with at least 2 synonyms for keywords (may use a thesaurus such as The Bloomsbury Thesaurus).

  • Each group creates a search stratehy using their keywords and two Boolean Operators.

Remember: A Boolean Operator is a mathemataical equation with words that you use to talk to the database!

Discussion: Groups will each send one representative to board to present their search strategy; discuss results.

  • Discuss the importance of synonyms

  • Discuss limiters such as date, full text, and peer reviewed.

  • Discuss Scholarly v. Popular.