It may seem obvious, but the first step is to make sure you understand the question. If there is more than one topic look at them closely, which one interests you? You need to identify the main concepts or keywords in your assignment topic/question to help you design your search strategy. We touched on this during your stay in Ideas Town. Let's explore this a bit further.
First watch the "Search Smarter, Search Faster" video clip on the right. This gives an overview of the process involved in finding the relevant information for an assignment or set task. Note that once you get your keywords right the rest can fall into place. Watch out for the dangerous wildlife while on this tour.
Then have a look at the other boxes on this page and work through the example so you understand the process.
When you use more than one keyword or phrase the search engine needs to know how to combine them in sets. You can do this with Boolean Operators AND, OR, and NOT. When these operators connect your keywords they either broaden or narrow your search.
Developing a good search strategy involves the following steps:
Here are three different search examples using the topic to the right. Developing a good search statement can save you time and bring the best sources to the top of your list. Developing a bad search strategy or none at all will often waste time you don't have.
Truncation * and phrase searching " " when used correctly are 2 of the most powerful tools you will use when searching.
Before you can successfully search catalogues, databases and the Internet you will need to identify appropriate keywords. You can do this by first identifying the key concepts in your topic.
Let's use the example below and determine the keywords words or concepts of great significance in your topic and synonyms A word or phrase that means exactly or nearly the same as another word or phrase in the same language, for example shut is a synonym of close we can use for searching.
The digital divide is a term that describes the gap in computer literacy between people of different socio-economic backgrounds. Describe some of the barriers that students from low socio-economic backgrounds can face when coming into the highly technological environment of higher education. Outline approaches that could be taken to reduce this disparity.
We acknowledge the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation and acknowledge Traditional Owners of the lands where our staff and students, live, learn and work.