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Research Tips

Related: Research Tips for Nursing, Construct Your Search

1. State Your Topic

  • As a question: ("Can a vegetarian diet help prevent heart disease?")
  • Or, as a statement: ("A vegetarian diet can help prevent heart disease.")
  • Through research, you will answer your question or prove your statement

2. Get Background Information

  • Do quick searches on the Internet
  • Look at an encyclopedia

3. Make a Plan

Use the Right Source

Articles

  • Produced quickly
  • Can be very current
  • Good source for very specific information

Books

  • Take longer to produce than articles
  • Have comprehensive coverage of a topic
  • Good for background information

Internet

  • Quality varies widely
  • Evaluate carefully
  • Can provide very current information
  • List what you already know
  • List what you need to find out

4. Brainstorm Keywords

  • List all the words related to your topic
  • Think of synonyms and related works

5. Construct Your Search

6. Keep Organized

  • Save copies of resources on your computer, disk or database account
  • Keep tract of places you already searched and keywords you tried
  • Use the list of things you need to find out:
    • Cross off things as you find them
    • Concentrate on gaps you need to fill

7. Cite It

8. Ask for Help