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PROJ 357: Applied EDDT Capstone Project: Developing a Search Strategy

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


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.


Your topic is "home use of  reclaimed wastewater and rainwater systems to."

Your research topic could be "design an efficient residential reclaimed water system to reduce impact on the environment through reuse of water."

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")


Your keywords could be:




reclaimed water



grey water





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:

"reclaimed water" AND environment* AND impact AND residential

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
Reg Erhardt Library
MC113, Stan Grad Centre
ph: 403-210-4073
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