Six Top Tips For Successful Research Strategy
- Know your topic - check spelling, definition
- Identify main concepts - keywords, subjects
- Create search strategy - find synonyms, eliminate extra words, combine keywords with "and"
- Choose the appropriate resources
- Revamp your strategy after you see what kind of results your getting.
- The Crucial Difference Between Internet Searching using a search engine and using a subscription database of published articles. A web search will only reach 13% of the available electronic information. To reach the more scholarly, reliable 87% you need to use commercial databases such as EBSCOhost.
Key Points to Remember
- Choose a topic that you are interested in.
- It is reassuring to know that almost everyone will have to change and fine tune their topic during the research process.
- Use library tools such as CQ Researcher and Encyclopedias to gain a foundation of knowledge and a baseline of understanding of the key issues for your possible topic. After all, once you attain an overview of aspects of a topic you might find you are interested in an area you previously had no knowledge of.
The Challenge of Picking a Topic
It usually makes sense to start with a broad or more general topic. It is human nature to be discouraged if you start with too narrow a topic.
Examples of Topics Broad to Narrow
- Smoking in America
- Smoking by Age
- Smoking By Gender
- Smoking Health Risk
- Types of Cancer Smoking Causes
- Rights of Smokers vs. Rights of Smokers
- Smoking Historically
- Role of the Government
But if you find way too many articles or books don’t feel overwhelmed. It is easy to narrow or broaden your search by using a keyword search or using a subject search.
Keyword searching involves using Boolean connectors such as
Focus on learning the process of writing and researching instead of only the final product. See OCC Plagiarism Brochure (PDF).