Class Presentation: September 17, 2018
Using the Library Search Engine
The search box on the Library Home Page is a great place to start looking for resources on your topic. Enter keywords that describe your topic (e.g. entertainment industry economics) and use the filters on the left hand side to narrow down your results.
Note: If you are searching for a specific item using a title, an author's name, or a call number, you should use the library catalogue.
Starting Your Research
Before you start searching for information, make sure you understand your topic. Western Libraries subscribes to online encyclopedias and dictionaries that you can use to find definitions of key terms and find useful background information.
Sources of Background Information
Constructing A Search Strategy
The most important step is identifying keywords that describe the main concepts in your research question or thesis. Think of synonyms or related terms that an author might also use when writing about the topic.
Once you understand your topic and have thought about the keywords that describe your research question, then you can construct a search string using those keywords. Search software uses specific connector words and symbols in order to combine your keywords and find relevant references.
- Use OR between synonyms or related terms to retrieve as many relevant references as possible.
- Use AND to narrow your results by adding additional concepts to your search.
- Use an asterisk (*) to find different endings. (eg. politic* will find politics and political).
- Enclose phrases in "quotation marks" to make sure the words are searched together.
Revising Your Search Strategy