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Create a Search Strategy

Creating a search strategy helps researchers in many ways:

  • a topic is established, helping in clarifying a need for information.
  • additional or related keywords can be utilized if certain ones do not yield the type of articles desired.
  • search results become refined and precise, resulting in relevant articles.

Steps in creating a search strategy:

1.  Define your topic in a complete phrase or sentence.

     Using animals in therapy can reduce stress in children and adults with autism.

2.  Identify the keywords in your sentence.

     Animals; Therapy; Stress; Children; Adults; Autism

3.  Generate synonyms for they keywords listed in #2.  Synonyms can be related persons or concepts.

     Animals and Therapy:  Pet Therapy; Animal-Assisted Therapy (professional term); Therapy Animals (Dogs, Equinine, etc.)

     Stress:  Distress; Mental Health (broader term)

     Adults:  Seniors (or specific age groups); Mature; Maturity

     Children:  Youth; Juveniles; Adolescents (or specific age groups)

     Autism: Autism Spectrum Disorders (professional term); Pervasive Developmental Disorder

4.  List the requirements for your articles (e.g., range of publication date; type of source; number; due date):

     Find 3 peer-reviewed articles based on quantitative or qualitative research studies published within last 10 years.

     Annotated Bibliography - use recommended format

     Due Date:  End of the month

5.  Try some searches using different combinations of your keywords, synonyms, or other controlled language/ thesaurus terms!

Library Research 101

Last updated on Feb 27, 2024 1:23 PM