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PROJ 375 Mechanical Engineering Technology Capstone Project: Developing a Search Strategy

Introduction

PROJ classes at SAIT are an opportunity for you to perform research to solve real-world industry problems.Your project will involve both primary research, where you gather the data, and secondary research, where you look for information that has already been created. Being able to find, assess, and use credible information is important for both this project and future industry assignments.

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: the profitability of green manufacturing processes

Your research question could be: Can green manufacturing processes be profitable?

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

  • AND - find all  the terms (ex.  "green manufacturing " AND profitable )

  • OR - find any of the terms (ex. green OR environmental OR sustainable)

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

EXAMPLE: 

Your keywords could be:

green manufacturing

manufacturing processes

environmental aspects

 

sustainable engineering

profitable, profitability

product recovery

waste reduction

 

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:

("green" OR "environmental" OR "sustainable") AND profitable AND "manufacturing processes"

4. Search, refine, and search again

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

Questions? Contact Me!

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Jessica Norman
She/Her
Contact:
Reg Erhardt Library
MC113, Stan Grad Centre
ph: 403-210-4073
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