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Tips and Tricks for Tutors: Search Strategies

Searching 101

THINK first, SEARCH later.

  • What kind of resource are you searching for? (Book? Video? Website? Academic article?)  This tells you WHERE to search: Galileo, GIL, or in a web browser!
  • Are there other important things you need to consider?
    • Something written by a specialist?  Go for Peer Reviewed!
    • Something written during a specifc time? Check out the date range!
  • What information are you searching for?  This is where keywords come in.  Make a list. Check it twice!  (Don’t know anything about keywords? Watch the video called keywords on this page!) 

Always remember: KEYWORDS are critical!

Here's an example.

My topic is "Females have brought a positive element to the military."

My keywords in this topic are "female" and "military" and maybe something like "benefit".

My "related words" lists might look like this:


military          positive           

woman (women)

soldier benefit
girl army


So I could mix and match - pick one word from each list and I could get great results from each search!  

OR - if I wanted to be even more specific, I could make a phrase: <"Female soldier"> and then add a word from my third list: <benefit>. My full search would look like this: <"female soldier" benefit>  

See how that works?

Research Strategy Links

The following links provide additional resources for developing a research strategy. Use the strategy that works best for you! 

Keywords - A Quick Guide

One Perfect Source?

One thing to keep in mind when you are doing research on your topic is that there is NO SUCH THING as a single perfect source that you will be able to cite to support your thesis. Researching and writing is a process of learning about your topic, thinking critically about what you've learned, and supporting your thesis through referencing a variety of sources. 

Why is this important?

Keywords are the building block of research. By identifying the best keywords, you maximize the number of relevant sources you find!

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