Before you start searching for information take some time to plan. It can save you time and find more relevant information, first:
1. Understand your topic and task
2. Identify main research concepts and alternative terms
3. Connect research concepts to form a search strategy
The video below shows the full process.
You must have a broad understanding of your topic, before you can search for information or write your assignment. Consider:
What do you need to do?
What do you know? Or need to explore further?
Do you need to define any terms?
What types of evidence do you need?
Does information need to be current?
Do any theories apply to your topic?
Use reference books to define terms, or find topic overviews, to become more familiar and locate better resources for your assessments.
See example reference works below:
The Library Catalogue can be a good place to start. Use the Catalogue to search across much of the material in the Library's collection.
Depending on what you need to find, and how comprehensive you need to be in your search, you may also need to use specialised databases.
Example question: What is the effect of light upon the behaviour or learning and teaching process of children in school classrooms?
The main concepts in your question form the foundation of your search:
To cover the range of terminology used in the literature, you must also identify any synonyms or similar keywords for each concept:
Once you have your list of terms for each concept, you can combine them to create a search strategy.
First simplify your search. Use truncation, wildcards and phrases to cover word variations:
finds unlimited characters after the symbol
must be used at the end of a word/wordstem
finds light, lighting etc...
finds zero or one character to replace the symbol
can be used anywhere in a word
finds behaviour, behavior
keeps two or words together in the entered order
Now connect your remaining terms using AND, OR.
Use OR to connect different terms within the same concept
Use AND to connect each concept.
(light* OR illumination) AND behavio?r AND classroom*
Need more info? Check out our How to guides below.