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Research Guides: Prepare Your Search

Prepare Your Search

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?   

Links to websites that do not include in the address are suggested as information helpful for students and faculty. The websites are not affiliated with Bryant & Stratton College.