Before you begin a search, you first need to focus on what information you want and how you might find it. If you start your search without a plan or strategy, you can produce an overwhelming list of useless results. In preparing your search strategy, you need to understand that searching is a process. This process includes: defining a search topic; identifying search keywords; selecting proper search tools; performing your search; evaluating search results; and using information or refining the search.
Here are some questions to ask before you begin your search: What type of assignment is it? Is it a research paper, an annotated bibliography, or a PowerPoint presentation? What is my topic? What types of resources will I use to support my writing? For example, do I need to use print books, eBooks, encyclopedias, magazines, the Virtual Library research database scholarly resources, government documents, web pages, images, online videos, or music recordings?