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Search Strategies In A Nutshell. By Jessica Yost. Where Do We Start. When conducting research using various search tools provided by the Internet, students should follow these simple steps to successful searching. 1. Brainstorm search terms & search tools 2. Conduct a preliminary search

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Where do we start
Where Do We Start

  • When conducting research using various search tools provided by the Internet, students should follow these simple steps to successful searching.

  • 1. Brainstorm search terms & search tools

  • 2. Conduct a preliminary search

  • 3. Use Search Operators to focus your topic.

  • 4. Refine your search terms and search strategies

  • 5. Locate & access information pertinent to your topic.

  • 6. Evaluate the information collected and determine its use to your project.

  • 7. Create your project. Be sure to assess your progress and your final product.


Brainstorm search terms search tools
Brainstorm Search Terms & Search Tools

  • Determine what search tools will be best to use for your project: a search engine, meta-search engine, subject directory, pathfinders, etc.

  • Brainstorm search terms and possible synonyms. What words will focus your topic? What words should be excluded?

Topic: What was popular culture like during World War II for young people living in America?


Conduct a preliminary search
Conduct a Preliminary Search

  • Do not simply choose random search terms and tools. Internet searching is somewhat of an art form. You will have to adjust your terms, be creative, and be patient.

  • Using the concept chart you created, begin your search carefully and methodically. Make corrections in your search strategies as you progress through your research. Remember to stay focused on the final product.


Use search operators to focus your topic

Use Boolean Operators such as “AND,” “OR,” “AND NOT,” “+,” and “-.”

Use the wild card symbol (*) to find various forms of a word (ex. Teen* = teenagers, teens, teenage).

Link phrases with quotation marks (ex. “World War II”). The “” hold the phrase together.

Field Searching (ex. URL, title, or first paragraph limiters).

Case sensitivity (ex. Butler eliminates results pertaining to household assistants.

Use Search Operators to focus your topic


Refine your search terms and search strategies

What words should be removed from your search terms? Use “AND NOT” to eliminate unneeded terms.

Utilize the advanced search options provided by the search tool you are using to narrow the topic.

In your preliminary search, did you find other synonyms or phrases that may prove useful in a more detailed search?

If your preliminary search yielded few useful results, consider alternative phrases, consult a thesaurus, or ask a teacher or the Library Media Specialist for ideas.

What information do you still need to complete your project?

Refine your search terms and search strategies


Locate access information pertinent to your topic
Locate & access information pertinent to your topic “AND NOT” to eliminate unneeded terms.

  • Remember, information can come in a variety of formats: Webpages, Full Text Databases, books, magazines, videos, interviews, microfilm, and audio recordings.

  • Do not gather information from only one format. The Internet is a great place to locate information. However, it is not the ONLY place to find information.

  • Record the required MLA citation information when accessing various resources. It will save a lot of time later.


Evaluate the information collected and determine its use to your project

Does the information collected create a clear picture of the problem you are trying to solve?

Does the information answer your research question thoroughly?

Is the information you found:

Current

Relevant

Credible

Accurate

Make sure to evaluate the credibility and accuracy of every website used in your research.

Evaluate the information collected and determine its use to your project


Create your project be sure to assess your progress and your final product
Create your project. Be sure to assess your progress and your final product

  • Prior to designing your project, create an outline or description of the final product.

  • Use this description as a guide when making your project.

  • Chart your progress along the way, and assess your final product. Are you progressing in a timely fashion? Is it shaping up as planned? Do you need more information? What else is needed to finish the project? What could have been done better? What do you like about the product?


Website resources for searching
Website Resources for Searching your final product

  • www.geocities.com/frostyriver9

  • http://www.ship.edu/~library/internet/search.html

  • http://mciu.org/~spjvweb/searchtip.html


The end

The End… your final product

And always remember to think things through, plan ahead, and have fun!


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