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Tips for Effective Searching
- Searching works best when you have a research question in mind. You should be able to identify key concepts related to your research. These concepts form the basis for your search terms.
- Know your topic. Exploring general sources (a chapter in your textbook, an encyclopedia article or other background reading) is a good way to start. The better you undestand a topic, the easier it is to evaluate sources.
- What is your purpose? You may be writing an argumentative or persuasive paper. Or, your assignment may require you to analyze research on a topic. Perhaps you are developing a slide presentation based on your evaluation of key sources.
- Start early. Until you have done some searching and reading, you might not recognize if your topic is too broad or narrow.
- Don't wait until the last minute. Good resources may not be available locally. Allow yourself time for an interlibrary loan.
- Select resources appropriate for your topic. Your professor may ask that you use only peer-reviewed journals. Other professors may want you to use a combination of texts and articles, or news sources. Perhaps you will be doing primary research using interviews or observations.
Background Sources Help You Choose a Topic
Subject encyclopedias, textbooks, and recently published books may provide you with a good starting point.
These sources will help you to generate ideas for a research topic and lead you to other recommended sources of information.
To get started, search our online catalog to discover reference material, books and electronic books. Click on the book title for more information, the subject headings, specifically, may inspire new search terms and strategies to narrow or broaden your search. For more suggested books, please see the Finding Books & Media tab in this guide. Here are a few examples:
Click here to see a list of current ebooks on the topic of health disparities
Creating a Thesis Statement
Credo Reference search box
This box will search all of your Credo Reference titles.