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Research Guide and Tips

"Education is the most powerful weapon which   you can use to change the world". Nelson Mandela
​BRAINSTORMING for Keywords


*** Keywords are typically nouns.

*** These are the main ideas of your research question/topic sentence.

Try this video on how to develop keywords:

EXPAND your keywords

*** Look at the subject headings of the materials you find and use those terms as applicable.

*** Or look up your keywords in a subject-specific database thesaurus to find predefined terms (called "Controlled Vocabulary")

Try this tool to find predefined terms:  click the green button 

​Use Truncation and Boolean Operators

TRUNCATION 

*** Truncation is alswo known as wildcard searching .

*** It lets you search for a term and variant spellings of that term.

To truncate a search term, do a keyword search in a database, but remove the ending of the word and add an asterisk (*) to the end of the word. The database will retrieve results that include every word that begins with the letters you entered.

Example: If you type in the keyword, child* the database will search for child, childs, children, childrens and childhood.

Try this online tutorial to understand more about TRUNCATION: click the blue button 

BOOLEAN OPERATORS

*** For more precise searching, connect your keywords in a meaningful way using the words AND, OR, and NOT.

*** Think of these connecting words as a bridge between keywords or concepts which allows you to narrow or broaden your search.

Try this online tutorial to understand more on how to use BOOLEAN Operators:

Refine your Search Results

FILTERS or LIMITERS let you narrow the focus of your search so that the information retrieved from the databases you search is limited according to the values your selected.

 

Records in the library databases allow you to narrow a search by:

     - Keyword

     - title

     - author

     - subject

     - series

To create a search using a filter:

*** In the Find field, enter your search terms.

*** Then click the limiters you want to use keywords, title, author, subject, and series from the search screen.

*** The RESULT LIST appears.

How to improve your search in the database using power search:

*** Filter your search to specific database fields can yield more precise results.

*** For example, if you are looking for books by Roald Dahl instead of about him, it is more efficient to limit your search to the author field.

*** To find various fields within a database, look for drop down boxes or menus to select the field you want to search.

*** Then combine words and fields together with Boolean or proximity operators, depending on how precise you want to be.

NOTE: DON'T FORGET TO TICK THE BOX OF "INCLUDE ONLINE RESOURCES"

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE CONCORDIAN ONLINE LIBRARY

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