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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 assignment is this? Informative? Argumentative? Research? Creative?
  • What question are you trying to answer?
  • Is there more than one part to the assignment?
  • 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: “Even actors who claim to not be superstitious do not refer to Macbeth by name."
    Example Keywords: Actors, Superstition, Macbeth
  • Brainstorm additional search terms by finding words with similar meanings.
    Example 1, Keyword "Actors": Actress, Thespian, Player
    Example 2, Keyword "Superstition": Belief, Jinx, Curse
    Example 3, Keyword "Macbeth": “The Scottish Play”, Shakespeare

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