1. Choose a topic. (Sometimes your professor will choose for you.)
2. Formulate a question about your topic that your research will try to answer. (It's easier to sort through resources if you're looking for stuff that will help you answer a question.)
3. Pick out keywords from your question and find synonyms for those keywords. (Use the Search Strategy Builder below to help you!)
4. Combine your keywords and synonyms in a search string that databases and search engines can understand. (This means using Boolean operators [AND, OR, NOT], putting phrases in quotes, grouping ORs into parentheses... again, the Search Strategy Builder can help you!)
The Search Strategy Builder is a tool designed to teach you how to create a search string using Boolean logic. While it is not a database and is not designed to input a search, you should be able to cut and paste the results into most databases’ search boxes.