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


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


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


  • 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

Generating Search Terms (5 minute video from CLIP, closed captioning available)

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