Define Your Topic - What are you
trying to find?
1. Select a topic you are interested
2. Check an Encyclopedia or Handbook to help refine and narrow
3. Check for relevant Journals or Books through the Library's catalogue.
4. Look for a review article on your topic in one of our databases.
5. Check authoritative websites.
Telephone: (403) 220-6042
A) Prepare a Search Strategy
Step 1: Analyze your Topic: Think about your topic critically, take note of
what has been done in your topic area and define the goals and objectives of your
Step 2: Identify Key Concepts and Search Terms: Identify key concepts from your topic that you may want to use as search terms.
Step 3: Identify Search Limits: Year(s), Document Type (Conference Article;
Monograph review), Language
Step 4: Use Boolean Logic
There are 3 Boolean logic operators that you can use when you are
searching for articles. All databases list these operators.
“AND” Narrows your search strategy (haiti AND soil erosion)
“OR” Broadens your search
strategy (earthquake OR seismic activity)
“NOT” Eliminates certain details
from your search strategy (economic NOT social)
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