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COMP114 - prof. S.Bruck - Technical Writing: Search Secrets

Search Secrets

Are you ready for one of the best research secrets?!?!

So… take your idea…
say, benefits to the local economy of increased funding for renewable energy

break it into just the key words that best describe that idea…

and link those words together in a kind of math equation…

like so:

box 1: renewable or green
AND box 2: energy
AND box 3: jobs or employment

Things to be aware of:
put a different idea on each line

link synonyms together with the word “or”

How do you find keywords in the first place? 

strategy: start with basic sources to learn about your topic and what words others use to describe your topic, e.g.: your textbook, Credo Reference, Wikipedia, Google…

Chasing the Footnote

A very effective way to turn one source into several sources is to follow up on the resources listed within an article. If the author of an article cites a particular book or article that sounds good to you, chase it down!

For books, simply search the catalog first. If you don't find it, fill out an interlibrary loan form.

For articles, start with the title of the journal and search the Publication Finder to see if it's available in one of our databases. Next, see if the date for your issue is available. Beyond that you can check the library catalog to see if we hold a particular journal. Or, failing all else, fill out an interlibrary loan form. Complete citations are a must.

This footnote chasing business can be tricky. Don't forget to ask me or any librarian for help.