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AAST 218: M4BL: History and Practice of An Idea: Search Strategies

Search Strategy

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

  • Begin by narrowing down your topic and developing an initial research question.
  • Use the keyword brainstorming worksheet (or this online keyword generator) 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.

Librarian / Research Help

Contact:Eboni A. Johnson (she/her/hers)
104 Mudd Center
(Mary Church Terrell Main Library)
ejohnson@oberlin.edu
440-775-5026



  • HOW DO I ….?
    Watch these videos for advice & support on using library resources and doing research. Visit us at https://libraries.oberlin.edu/ to chat with us in real-time, schedule a research appointment, or send us an email message.