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FYSP 158: Dance, Dance, Revolution: Search Strategy & Evaluating Sources

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 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.

Annotated bibliography resources

BEAM Method for Analyzing Sources


Present facts, establish information

(e.g. The ACT UP movement was founded on March 12, 1987, at the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center in New York City)


Explicate, interpret, analyze

(e.g. a poster produced by ACT UP)


Affirm, dispute, refine, extend

(e.g. an article making an argument about the factors that influenced ACT UP's strategy)


Critical lens; key terms; theory; style; perspective; discourse

(e.g. an article describing the research methods used in performance as research)