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1. Gather your information, and decide on a research question.
- As an example, my research question is "What are the long-term health effects of using e-cigarettes?"
2. Using your question, select keywords you can use to search for information. Brainstorm a bit to think of related words and synonyms you can use.
- I'm researching about the health effects of e-cigarettes, I might select keywords like e-cigarettes, health, and effects to use in my search.
3. Begin your search in a database
- Try out a few of your keywords to start your search. Start with a broad search with fewer keywords, and then add in more keywords if your search is getting too many results.
- Try using synonyms if you aren't getting enough results. For example, I might try searching for "electronic cigarettes" instead of e-cigarettes.
- If your search term is more than one word, put it in quotes (for example, type "electronic cigarettes". If you leave out the quotes, it will search for articles with electronic AND cigarettes, which will get a lot of results you don't want).
- Check to see what keywords pop up as you type in your search terms; some of them might be what you're looking for!
- Still not finding what you need? See a librarian; we're happy to help you with your search!
4. Once you've found articles or resources you would like to use, remember to save a copy! Printing a copy is helpful so you can highlight and take notes on the page.
- Most databases have email, download, and print options at the top of the page.