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Credo Reference is an online Reference Collection. You can use it to get an overview of unfamiliar or familiar topics and locate terms to use in searching databases.
Start with your assignment
An obvious but sometimes missed starting point is the actual assignment you are given.
- Make sure you understand the requirements.
- Look for key words, items in bold, vocabulary words that are new to you. Keep a log or list of the words so it is easier to select alternatives when you begin to search on the computer.
- Become familiar with a good a dictionary and/or thesaurus to determine precisely what you are being asked to do.
A good dictionary and thesaurus are valuable throughout the research process. A good one to start with can be found at Dictionary.com
Basic Research Steps
- Select an interesting and doable topic.
- Identify each component of your topic.
- Select appropriate terms to describe the components and use truncation as appropriate.
- Determine the correct use of Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT). Click herefor more information on how to use the operators.
- Select fields to search if appropriate (author, title, subject).
- Limit your results as necessary (date, scholarly vs. popular, etc.).
- Evaluate your results and rethink your strategy as necessary.