This is Bob and he’s been where you are, in a 291 writing course. When Bob wrote his research paper last year he used databases available at the University’s library to find information, but he struggled. He
knew he was supposed to use the databases to search for scholarly, academic sources. He used the search box provided, typed in his topic, but his results weren’t all that great. It was frustrating. Sometimes a lot of sources appeared but other times very few. In this
case he received a lot of news articles not academic sources, and what do any of these sources really have to do with his topic? Eventually, Bob began to realize he can’t treat the database the same way he does Google. He’s not searching for the same type of information he would find on Google so he also has to think about changing his search strategy. Now Bob is ready to share a few of his tips with you. Specifically, he’ll talk about being flexible, advanced techniques in a database, and the importance of exploration Be flexible. When conducting research Bob has learned that very rarely is his
initial search the best rather he has to make changes and revise his search strategy several times. Resarch really is a process. He sometimes uses the basic search option, but he is now aware of the advanced search option as well. instead of typing all of his words in the first box, he realized using the multiple boxes provided actually does make a difference.
However he may still have to go back and change
his words. Doing so can drastically expand or reduce his results list. Replacing the word “social media” with “facebook” decreases his results list, because it’s more specific. Replacing the word “romance” with the word “relationship” also changed his results. By being flexible, Bob is able to manipulate his searches to work in his favor. Bob also learned advanced techniques, like truncation. basically it allows you to search the stem of the word for the word L-I-B-R-A-R, followed by an asterik (*) to yield all the results for library, librarians, libraries Bob also likes the “NOT”feature in a database. If he notices certain word popping up in his search that isn’t relevant to his topic, he’ll take steps to remove it. Quotations. This is commonly used in
Google searches as well. Put phrases in quotations and this tells the database to search for this phrase together. Rather than
searching for the word “romantic” and the word “relationship” on two separate lines. Finally, explore the database. Bob used to come into a database, type in a word, pull out a result and be on his way. Then, one day Bob got curious. He started to really look at the database. and realized the control he had.
Scholarly journals, dates, plus a whole slew of options on the side. Plus he’s also learned that one source in a database can lead him in a whole new direction. If he finds an article he
likes or thinks is interesting he will look at the words associated with that article. This can take an entirely new direction. While he has to be
careful to stay on track exploring can also expose new ideas. Being flexible, applying some advanced techniques, and being open to the various options available to him as a researcher, Bob had more success finding relevant results to support his