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Identity Literacy: An Introduction to Cultural Competence in a Diverse World

Developing a Search Strategy

Searching for information is like second nature to most of us. Searching Google and getting an immediate answer is what we are most comfortable with and used to. Research, however, is a bit different. The answer doesn't lie "out there" on the internet. Rather, it is something that YOU come up with based off of the things you've read and explored. Here are some tips to get you started on building a search strategy to get you the information you need to find your answers:

  1. Breakdown your topic into keywords or concepts
  2. Use a primary source, Wikipedia, or a works cited page/bibliography as a starting point to finding more information and sources
  3. Be persistent - don't give up if you don't find the "perfect source" the first try 
  4. Ask a librarian for help!

Searching is Strategic

Precise Searching

Precise Searching

Searching databases *generally* works the same (there are exceptions). Consider these tips when developing a search strategy: 

  • The words "AND," "OR," and "NOT" can help you make a search more precise.

i.e.: The search 'films AND psychology NOT children', will return a search with results that contain the keywords 'films' and 'psychology' but not 'children' - important if you are only looking at adolescent psychology in films.

  • Using quotes around two or more words will help you find specific phrases. 

i.e.: "college athletes" will return results with only that exact phrase.