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Last Updated: Jan 6, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Getting Started Print Page

Getting Started

Before you Begin: Know the Assignment

  • What type of paper is this? Informative? Argumentative? Research?
  • What question are you trying to answer?
  • Is there more than one part to the assignment?
  • What length is your final paper supposed to be?
  • How many resources are required?
  • What types of resources are required?
  • When is the assignment due?

Before Searching

  • 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 keywords in your thesis statement or in the question you are trying to answer? These will become your search terms.
    Example Thesis: "Epilepsy surgery can improve the quality of life for children who have seizures.
    Example Keywords: Seizure, Epilepsy, Children, Surgery
  • Brainstorm additional search terms by finding words with similar meanings. You can use the Boolean Operator "OR" to search for them simultaneously.
    Example Keyword "Seizures": seizure OR convulsion OR cerebral cortex abnormalities

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