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Research Guide

Based on Sandra Riggs' Research Basics Guide

Start with your criteria

Assignment criteria is what you'll be assessed on. Every rubric, verbal instruction, prompt, or other piece of information that describes what's required for your assignment is your criteria. Your criteria also helps guide how to develop a topic, and plan a search.

EX: "Find 3 recent (last 5 years) peer-reviewed articles on a topic related to college students. Summarize the articles, and provide a references page in APA Citation."

This already gives you several pieces of information about how to search for information.

  • You can search for peer-reviewed articles in Multisearch, A-Z Databases or Google Scholar, so that helps us to choose over Book & More and E-Journal Search
    • Date range is 2015-2020
    • Source is Academic Journal
    • Type of article is Peer-Reviewed
    • One subject: college students -- topic to be refined later
  • Feature that I need to use: Link to a citation

Boolean Searching

You can combine AND, OR, and NOT to build very complex searches. Group each concept in parentheses.

Let's say that we only want to look at topics for college testing, not K-12. We need to include college results and exclude earlier grades:

(test or assessment or examination) AND (college or university) NOT (elementary or "middle school" or "high school").

Search Strategy Builder

Search Strategy Builder

The Search Strategy Builder is a tool designed to teach you how to create a search string using Boolean logic. While it is not a database and is not designed to input a search, you should be able to cut and paste the results into most databases' search boxes.

  Concept 1 and Concept 2 and Concept 3
Name your concepts here    
Search terms Search terms Search terms
List alternate terms for each concept.

These can be synonyms, or they can be specific examples of the concept.

Use single words, or "short phrases" in quotes

or

or

or

or

or

or

or

or

or

or

or

or

SSB created by University of Arizona Libraries and located at GitHub