Research Therapy: Be a Search Boss

We admit it. Searching a library catalog or database is not always as straightforward as Google. And sometimes, searching Google is frustrating because you get so many questionable results. So how can you find that really great article for your paper? This video will show you some tactics to help get you on your way to being a Super Searcher!

I’m finding too much! I can’t find enough!
If you are overloaded or underloaded with search results, you might want to rethink your search strategy by brainstorming broader or narrower concepts. For example, if your topic for a 5-page paper is gay rights, do you think you could cover everything ever about gay rights in so few pages? If so, you should give me some writing lessons.

searchstrategy image gay marriage
Most likely, with a topic as broad as gay rights, you probably want to focus on something a little more narrow under the umbrella of gay rights, such as gay marriage. If you still feel like there’s still too much on your topic to cover, you might focus in even more. For example, you could specifically look at Prop 8.

Question your assignment
One way to think about your topic is to form it into a question you can answer with your research. This can also help you focus your topic. Here are some examples:

searchstrategy image ask yourself

It might seem frustrating when you have to keep adjusting your search, but that’s exactly what research is, it’s re-searching until you find what you’re looking for. If you feel really stuck, be sure to Ask A Librarian for help.

- Anna Fidgeon

annaliese.fidgeon@csun.edu

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