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Assignment Planning

Search Strategy - Do You Have One?

There are a just a few steps involved, and each takes 2-15 minutes to complete.

  1. What is your topic or area of research? What questions do you have about your topic? Formulate a main research question and write it down. This will force you to make concrete what might have previously just been a vague idea in your head.
  2. Circle the main ideas in your topic or area of research. Get rid of all the "little" words, like a, an, the, of, etc.
  3. What synonyms or related ideas/concepts can you think of for the circled terms? Write them down.
  4. What kinds of resources are you looking for? Consult your assignment instructions again to check what is required.
  5. Where will you look for those resources? Check the Start Your Research page for the best source-resource matches.
  6. Consult the Subject Guide or Research Topic that best matches your assignment. There are lots of tips and hints for getting the most out of research in your specific area.

Ready to move on to some initial research? Choose YES!

image by Flickr user Håkan Dahlström

Fodder for the Box

By taking a few minutes to devise a search strategy, you will save hours of struggling to find what you want and ensure a positive return on your time investment.

You'll also be more likely to remember all the topics/areas you wanted to research, so you don't have to come back again to complete the search.