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PROJ 365: Automotive Management Capstone: Developing a Search Strategy

How to find the information and data you need for your final project

Powerpoint from class

Search Strategy

For any search, it is helpful to develop a search strategy before you begin so that your search is narrowed and focused.

1. Define your topic

Decide what you want to research based upon your assignment requirements. Then, turn your topic into a research question. Focus your search on answering all aspects of that question.

EXAMPLE: 

Your topic is "evaluation of sediment levels of a drainage pond using sonar technology".

Your research question could be: "What is the best technique to measure sediment levels in storm water ponds using sonar echolocation technology?"

2. Choose your keywords

Identify the main concepts in your question and develop keywords based upon that question. Brainstorm synonyms and related concepts for your keywords. 

Make your search make your search more effective by using the following to separate your keywords (terms):

  • AND - find all  the terms (ex.  "age discrimination" AND workplace)

  • OR - find any of the terms (ex. workplace OR workforce)

  • NOT - exclude a certain term (ex. Canada NOT "United States")

EXAMPLE: 

Your keywords could be:

Drainage pond

Retention pond

Storm water pond

Sediment

Erosion

Measurement

Sonar

3. Select your search tools

You can find credible information using Library Search, the main search box on the library homepage. You also may need to select subject specific resources and/or search engines like Google to fully answer your research question. It is good practice to draw information from a variety of sources.

EXAMPLE: A search string based upon the above concepts could be:

("storm ponds" OR "retention ponds" OR "detention ponds") AND sediment AND sonar

4. Search, refine, and search again

Search for your topic, refine your search string, and then search again. 

Questions? Contact me

Kevin Tanner's picture
Kevin Tanner
Contact:
403-210-4280
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