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Research Guides

HI 481 Senior Seminar Masur: Getting Started

History Senior Seminar, Fall 2022

Search Discovery


 
Limit to: audio

Starting Research

 

  • To brainstorm ideas to research, try browsing:
    • News in your subject area. (Google sociology news to find websites to browse.)
    • The table of contents of a book or encyclopedia in your subject area.
  • Do some initial searching on one or more topic ideas, using our main library search box or Google.
  • Refine your topic based on what you find:
    • Maybe you found a slight variation or different direction you want to go in.
    • Tons of results? Consider narrowing your topic to focus on a smaller aspect of it.
    • Hardly any results? You may need to broaden your topic and make it less specific.
  • Generate search terms/keywords by asking questions about your topic.
    • Write down what questions you have on your topic 
    • Try a concept map: Who,  What, Where, When, Why, How

If you want to discuss topic ideas and keywords, stop by the Reference Desk to chat with a librarian.

General Search Tips

These search tips work in our library databases and Library Catalog:

  • Combine keywords using AND and OR.
    • Use AND for searching different ideas within your topic. E.g. youth AND homelessness
    • Use OR for searching with synonyms of your keywords. E.g. (youth OR teen) AND homelessness
  • Abbreviate words with multiple endings using an asterisk (*). E.g. homeless* to search both homeless and homelessness
  • Search specific phrases using quotation marks. E.g. "Runaway and Homeless Youth Act"
  • Change your search terms around to get different results.

Boolean Operators

Image showing the concept of Boolean Operators using Venn diagrams