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Conducting Effective Research

This guide will help you conduct research and write papers.

Search Strategy Worksheet

Researching Your Topic

What is Your Topic?

Write a description of what your paper is about in no more than three sentences.  If you are having trouble, ask yourself what you want to prove in your paper, or try phrasing your topic as a question.

What are Your Main Ideas?

Pick out the most important ideas from the three sentences you just wrote out. You will link the concepts with AND when you search

1st Concept    ____________________________________________________________________________________

2nd Concept   ____________________________________________________________________________________  

3rd Concept    ____________________________________________________________________________________

           


You don’t have to have three concepts. You can have more or fewer, but try to begin with at least two.

Think of Other words

What are some words that mean almost, but not quite, the same thing as your main ideas? If you do not find many results for one search, do not give up quite yet. You can change the words a little bit to find more articles or more specific articles. Think of synonyms, alternative spellings, and related ideas.

1st Concept    ____________________________________________________________________________________

2nd Concept   ____________________________________________________________________________________               
3rd Concept    ____________________________________________________________________________________

           

Try out a few combinations of words in a database search box. If you still find nothing, try searching in a different database.  Good luck!