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ATLS 4000/4010: Research Methods and Professional Practice Capstone: Get Started

Building Research Strategies

Today we are going to talk about building search strategies based on your Capstone Venn Diagram:

Capstone Venn Diagram with circles for topic, medium and audience


Searching is Exploration

Sometimes, you need to do research to figure out what you are going to research. You may need to try out a number of search strategies to explore what information is available / not available, and you may find that you need or want to adjust your topic / medium / audience.

Cyclical Diagram to pick topic, test topic by search, find, read sources, adjust topic

Every project is different, but some questions to consider as you try out search strategies:

  • Is my topic / medium / audience too broad? Too narrow?
    • Do I need to brainstorm / research more specific aspects of my topic / medium / audience?
    • Do I need to brainstorm / research broader or related aspects of my topic / medium / audience?
  • Do I want to research all of the parts of my venn diagram together, or do I want to research the parts separately or in pairs?

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Combine Search Words

AND  link words by AND to search for all words in the same resource

OR  link words by OR to search for one word or another (instead of both/all words)

NOT  to eliminate results with a certain term

“Quotations” – add quotations to a group of two or more words to search for the exact phrase