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ENG 135 Greek and Roman Mythology In Translation Research Tutorial: Getting Started
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Doing research can be overwhelming but if you make a plan, it will become easier!
There are 5 general steps to completing a research project:
Identify keywords and search terms related to research topic
Develop search strategies
Evaluate information sources
Some tips to help you as begin the search for information to complete your assignments...
Expand or narrow your topic as needed
Refine the search results you see in Primo or any other resource you are searching by material type (book, articles, images, etc.)
Identify the sources you will include in your research by how relevant they are to your topic and consider sources that are the BEST or most APPROPRIATE are appropriately presented (see "Evaluating Sources" for specific ways to evaluate sources.)
In ENG 101, you learned some basic search strategies to employ within library databases and online, including:
Identify specific keywords, terminology or phrases related to your research topic.
Identify synonyms, or keywords or terms with similar meaning, i.e. babies and infants or car and sedan.
Use quotation marks ("") around phrases or titles to find results with a specific order of keywords, which avoids finding results that mays include only one keyword of the phrase in the search.
Use truncation to find more results, i.e. comput* to find compute, computer, computers, computing, etc.
Use Boolean searching to combine search terms, i.e. AND to find results with all keywords listed within the same record (narrowed results), OR to find results with any of the keywords in any record (more broad results), and NOT to eliminate certain keywords from the results (limiting).
Use parentheses to narrow searches, i.e. autism AND (symptoms OR diagnosis).
Here are more tips to help you dig deeper!
Every database is structured differently and allows for different searching methods, although many may be similar. Look for the "Help" or "?" icon in each database or search interface to find out more about specific search tools and strategies you can use. These links are often located at the top of the website or in the top corners.
Use wildcards, which are similar to truncation, but allow you to search more flexibly. Often an asterisk is used in this type of search but the symbol(s) may vary by database. For example wh* would return results with why, what, where and when. Searching for recogni*e would find results with recognize and recognise. Check the "Help" or "?" in each database to learn more!
If you look at the advanced searching in a database, you will see that it often allows you to chose which "field" or electronic place in each record, behind the scenes. For example, if you select "Author" as a search term from the advanced search menu, a database "knows" to look in the field, or place in each record being searched where the authors' names are located, specifically the indexes of those fields (like the index of a book) for speed and efficiency. Many databases pre-assign subjects to articles or other content and when you type in those keywords, the databases will show you results that are associated with those subjects. Some databases such as EBSCOhost use "field codes" that you can type in a search box to find certain records. For example, you might type SU therapy dogs and veterans to search for articles with those subjects. Or, you might search for AU Smith and Brown to look for articles written specifically by these authors.