At university you are expected to find and use scholarly information:
However, to find scholarly information you need to search in a particular way to get good results.
Use this page to learn how to plan your search and find the best scholarly information sources to use.
Before you find any information, identify the main ideas (or key concepts) in your assignment question or research topic
The following video shows you how to break down your assessment and to get started brainstorming keywords you can use.
Here is an example:
The key concepts are:
Different words can be used to describe the same concept.
Think of other words that could be used to describe your key concepts. Synonyms should also be included.
We recommend brainstorming your keywords in a table like the one shown below.
Boolean Operators are a way of telling a database or search engine how to do your search. Watch the video to learn how.
Use Boolean Operators to combine your keywords & synonyms into a search. You can build multiple searches using different synonyms & keywords.
Use OR to combine synonyms & similar words:
|Key Concept||Keywords & Synonyms||Search|
degradable plastic OR
Use AND to combine your key concepts together, use quotation mark "" to search a phrase consists of 2 and more words (e.g, "degradable plastic"):
You will need to find different types of information during your studies. These may include:
The type of information you are looking for will determine where you search, and how you search.
Using the steps above will help you find most of these information types, but there are also other places to look.
Explore this study guide or ask a librarian to discover more.
Not all the information you get from a search will be useful. A successful search will show results relevant to your topic. If your results are not relevant go back and try different keywords in your search.
Find relevant results by checking the:
Even if your information is relevant, it might not be good quality. Check if it passes the C.R.A.P. Test before you use it.