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The Search Strategy: Your Research

This guide will help you create an effective search for your research topic and to enter it into any advanced search for a database.

Your Research

Your Research

In Google, we can type in a question and get millions of results in just .002 seconds, but a database does not work like that.  When searching within a database, we need to break up our research topic or question into main concepts to find what we really need.

The Search Strategy - Blank

My Topic:

 

 

Concept #1

 

 

Concept #2

 

 

Concept #3

 

 

Concept #4

 

 

Concept #5

 

Synonyms or Related Terms

         
         
         
         
         

The Search Strategy - EXAMPLE

For my topic, you need to fill-in what you want to research.  This can be a research question or short phrases/questions.

My Topic:

Human Trafficking - how did it begin?  How does one find the victims? Focus on United States.

OR

How many teenagers have been the victim of human trafficking in the United States and what is being done to prevent this?

We must break out our research into main concepts.  What are the main keywords from the My Topic box?

Concept #1

Human

 Trafficking

Concept #2

History

 

Concept #3

Victim

 

Concept #4

Identify

 

Concept #5

United

States

 

For each concept, we must fill-in any synonyms or related terms to the concept above it.  We can do a Google search to find more synonyms for any term.  **Main goal from this section is to only write down those terms which you like.  For example, for history, I could write past, historical, origin or even background, but "day of old" comes up too.  I don't like the term "days of old," so I won't use it.

Synonyms or Related Terms

Sex trafficking past victimization identification America
Modern day slavery historical injured person screening US
Modern slavery origin USA
Forced slavery background
Sexual exploitation

Can you have more concepts?  Yes, I could also narrow my topic by looking at just teenagers, which would add one more concept.

Can you have less concepts?  Yes, depending on your research you might have three or four and that is okay.

The Advanced Search

Use AND to narrow your search results

Use OR to expand your search

Exclude something from your results with NOT

Try a search of your own now!

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