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ERAU Hunt Library

HU 145 (Oler)

How to search

The Research Process

  1. Develop a Topic
    • These ideas should be fairly broad to make sure you can find a lot of information.
    • You can always narrow and refine your topic as you conduct your search.
  2. Locate Background Information
    • Use databases that are general and broad or use EAGLEsearch.
  3. Formulate a Research Question
    • This focuses the topic.
    • What do you want to know about the topic?
  4. Create Search Terms
    • Nouns from your research question turn into keywords.
  5. Find Sources

Evaluate Your Search Results

  • Read the abstract to learn overview of the article.
  • Look at the keywords.  Do they match your search?
    • Even if they don't match, is the article still relevant?
    • If the article is relevant, add new keywords to search.
  • Can you understand the vocabulary?
  • When was it published?  Do you need a recent article?
  • Does the article contain references?
  • Is it original research?
    • Does it use primary or secondary sources?
    • Does it include charts, graphs, or other data?
  • How does this article relate to your topic?
    • How is it similar?
      • Does it focus on the same questions you have?
    • How is it different?
      • Does it present a different argument than what you want?
      • How could that be used in your project?
    • Is this article useful to your project?
      • Does it relate to what you are talking about?
      • Can it fit into your project?
    • If it is not useful to your topic, why isn't it useful?