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Writing Across the Curriculum

MPA WAC Library Fall 2006

Jane Suda, Librarian & Assistant Professor
718-488-1036
jane.suda@liu.edu

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)

Keyword Example:

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.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

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.

VIII. Reminders

  • 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

 

 

 

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