1. Think about what you want to know. What is your research question or topic?
e.g. student stress
2. What kind of data do you need?
e.g. quotes from students on how they deal with stress.
e.g. An Excel table listing students' respective programs, ages, and stress levels from 1-10
3. Pick a research method(s). Once you know what kind of data would best answer your question, you can choose a research method.
e.g. Conduct interviews with students and ask them questions about how they deal with stress.
e.g. Survey students asking for their programs, ages, and to rate their individual stress levels from 1-10
An important part of searching for sources is using effective search terms. We can use search terms to narrow our search, broaden our search, and find sources relevant to our research topic.
Below are some tips for you to develop an effective list of search terms for your topics.
Your topics probably start out as a few full sentences which detail the problems you are aiming to solve with recommendations. But you don't want to enter these full sentences into the search bar, so what specific words do you choose? You need to identify the main concepts of your research topic.
Now that you have the main concepts of your research topic, think of any synonyms or related concepts and ideas. Is there a synonym for "stress"? What concepts are related to "students"?
Now that you have written out related concepts for your topic, you should have a better understanding of what words to use as search terms in the library and online. Your search terms can be combined together in different ways to find sources for your topic.
AND - find all the terms (ex. "pocket microscope" AND performance)
OR - find any of the terms (ex. miniature OR USB)
NOT - exclude a certain term (ex. camera NOT Nikon)
" " - keep specific words together in exact order (ex. "portable microscope")
* - search any ending on a root word (ex. electric* [= electric, electricity, electrical, electrician]