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Library Research Strategies and More: Create search strategy

A guide for conducting library research.

Creating your search strategy

Create your search strategy based on your thesis statement.

  • Think about the concepts, keywords and synonyms that describe your topic. 
  • Sample topic: How do school gardens benefit students?
    • school:    primary, k-12, high school
    • gardens:   kitchen gardens, schoolyard gardens
    • benefit:     effect, impact
  • Can't think of anything besides the words in your research statement?  Start with those you have. 
  • Searching for articles?  Most databases have a Thesaurus.  You can view recommended and/or alternate terms.

What type of information do you want?

  • Books, articles, websites? 
    • Some tools contain a mix of resources like books, articles, and websites.  Some search more narrowly. 
  • Current or historical?  Scholarly?  Qualitative or Quantitative?  Statistics?  Primary or secondary?
    • Depending on the tool, you may be able to include this aspect within the search statement.
  • Does the tool have Limit or Refine options?  Does it allow you to sort by publication year?