MPA – WAC – Library Fall 2006
Jane Suda, Librarian & Assistant Professor
I. Before You Search
Keywords = the main concepts you want to research.
Boolean Operators = how you tie together keywords when you search = And, Or, Not
- With the OR operator put your keywords in (parentheses) i.e. (law or legal)
Phrase = when searching a phrase, put "Quotation Marks" around the phrase
Limit = a way to create a more efficient search by reducing the scope of your search
Selected examples of Limits:
- Date limit (i.e. only the past five years)
- Type of literature limit (i.e. newspapers, magazines, scholarly articles)
- Keyword location (authors name includes LOVE; title includes LOVE; subject includes LOVE)
Concept #1 = "conflict of interest"
Concept #2 = public*
Concept #3 = (administrat* or manag* or supervis*)
Concept #4 = name of the agency
Concept #5 = (law or policy or legal or illegal or specific law name)
Concept #6 = (prevent* or educat* or treatment)
Concept #7 = (enforce* or punish*)
Concept #8 = (ethic* or moral*)
Concept #9 = name of a professional association
String the keywords together. Add synonyms. Use Boolean Operators, truncation, parenthesis, and quotation marks as needed.
II. Where will you go to to Find Your Information?
- Online Database? Book? Agency Website? Association Website?
III. How will you cite the sources you choose to use?
- Ask your Professor about citation style and expectations.
IV. How will you document your research process?
- Keep a research log, a separate folder, notebook, or email file for your research
V. Expanding your Research
- Use the Bibliographies of the Books/Articles you find
- Scan text for significant Authors, Laws, Agencies, Organizations - use them as new keywords
- Try different databases (i.e. legal database for legal aspects, health database for health aspects)
VI. Stop Researching and WRITE
- While writing you may identify information gaps
VII. Revisit Your Thesis
- It should tie together the key concepts you have selected.
- Get your Library Barcode
- Identify Keywords Prior to Searching
- Learn the APA citation style
- Read the Diana Hacker book, A Writer's Reference , section R
- When you need help, ask a librarian