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Before you Begin: Know the Assignment
- What type of a research assignment is this? An annotated bibliography, literature review, or research paper?
- What question are you trying to answer, or what topic are you hoping to explore?
- Is there more than one part to the assignment?
- How many resources are required?
- What types of resources are required?
- Are there any other requirements--like that articles are based on empirical research--to consider?
- When is the assignment due?
Before Searching: Develop a Strategy
- What is your thesis? Unless you are writing a creative paper, you should have a thesis that you are trying to support.
- What are the keywordsin your thesis statement or in the question you are trying to answer? These will become your search terms.
- Example Thesis: "Modeling therapy is an effective treatment for phobias."
- Example Keywords: Modeling therapy", treatment, phobia
- Brainstorm additional search terms by finding words with similar meanings.
- Example 1, Keyword "Treatment": technique, method, approach
- Example 2, Keyword "Phobia": fear, anxiety, aversion (related words)