Want to improve your search results in the library catalog or databases? Not sure what the difference is between a keyword and subject search? Explore the tabs above to find some of our best tips and tricks.
1. Review Assignment: What's the assignment? What are the expectations for your work? Are there any specific parameters that you need to be aware of?
2. Brainstorm: Pick a topic that interests you! Do you have a strong opinion on something? Do you have a personal issue, problem, or pastime that you would like to know more about?
Librarian Tip: The research and writing will go by more quickly if you care about the topic you are researching!
3. Find Background Information: Reading an overview of a topic will allow you to better understand the landscape of what you are researching. This in turn will allow you to narrow in on a specific concept that piques your interest.
Librarian Tip: This process also allows you to find common vocabulary used in the field, which offers you keywords for your resource searching. Make a list of these keywords as you are going.
4. Focus Your Topic: Make sure to keep your work manageable by honing in on a specific thesis statement or question.
Librarian Tip: Remember to stay flexible while picking a thesis statement, if a topic is too broad or too narrow it will be hard to research. So keep in mind - picking your topic is research!