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FYSP 127: Race-ing the Environment: Home

Search Strategy

Here is a good, basic formula for getting started with your research:

  • Begin by using the keyword brainstorming worksheet to help you tweak your research question, identify keywords and related terms, and keep track of what you find.  
  • Search in a library catalog (Summon, OBISOhioLINK and/or WorldCat) to find books and reference sources.  These sources will:
    • provide BACKGROUND and CONTEXT
    • REVIEW and SUMMARIZE earlier work
    • help you FOCUS your topic and
    • provide CITATIONS to important books, journal articles, conference papers, interviews, etc.
  • Next, search research databases to find articles. The library has hundreds of databases; those listed on this guide are good places to begin.
  • You may also wish to use Google Scholar to search the Internet.  This is a great tool for doing cited reference searches.
  • Finally, use the CRAAP test worksheet to evaluate the sources you find.

Search Tips

Concept Explanation Example
Phrase search
(quotes required)
search for an exact phrase (most, but not all, databases use quotation marks) “death penalty”
“standardized test”
“reality TV”
Boolean logic (for keyword searching) use Boolean operators (AND, OR,
NOT) for more precise searching
See following examples
AND search for records that have all of the words (broadens the search)

race and poverty

drug use and educational attainment

OR search for records that have any of the words (narrows the search)

homosexual or gay or lesbian or queer

china or japan or korea

NOT exclude records that have the word (narrows the search) advertising not (TV or television)
Truncation search for a root word with any ending (most, but not all, databases use an asterisk *) adolescen* [finds adolescent, adolescents, adolescence]

 

Summon

Summon logo

Search approximately 300 million books, scholarly articles, newspaper articles, data, digital audio, digital video, digital images, government documents and more. It draws from the library catalog (OBIS), many of the full text and article indexing databases, as well as digital repositories from colleges, universities, research centers, and other open-access archives on the web. 

Research Help

Librarian

Elizabeth Sullivan's picture
Elizabeth Sullivan
Contact:
Main Library, 105 Mudd
4407755072