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Sound Writing

Section 1.3 Research Tips and Strategies

List 1.3.1. Strategies for Finding Sources
  • Meet with a librarian 1 .
    They will show you how to navigate databases, find hard-to-find sources, and save you a lot of time.
  • Check the works cited or bibliography of a scholarly source.
    You may struggle to find more than a few sources that perfectly suit your topic. In such a case, look at the the references cited by the few sources that you have found. There’s a good chance you’ll find other articles that can help you get back on track.
  • Refine your search terms.
    Sometimes you may find that a database search of your topic returns few to no results. Before giving up, try using different combinations of search terms. Sometimes the terms that make sense to you may not be quite the same as the ones scholars before you have used. If you’re really stuck, using a thesaurus to find synonyms can be a helpful trick. Some databases make use of specialized subject terms, too, so this is another place where a librarian can really help out.
  • Learn some Tips for Searching a Database.
A list of the same keywords and search terms found in the list "Tips for Searching a Database"