At university, you are expected to find and use scholarly information.
This page will show you how to plan your search to retrieve the best results.
Your first step before you find any information is figuring out what your assignment is asking you and what your topic is about.
The following video shows you how to break down your assessment and get started brainstorming keywords you can use.
The main ideas (or key concepts) in your assignment question or research topic are your starting point for building a search.
The key concepts are:
If you are working from a scenario, you can also use PICO to break down your question. Check the Evidence-Based Practice guide for more information.
Researchers will refer to the same concept using different terms. For example, when researchers are talking about labour, they could also say childbirth or contractions.
Track any terms you can think of in a table like this to include in your search.
Use Boolean Operators to combine your search terms. You can build multiple searches using different combinations of synonyms & keywords.
Watch the video below to see how it works.
Depending on where you are searching, you can put together your search string in two ways:
e.g. Library catalogue, Google Scholar, ProQuest simple search
("manual intervention*" OR massag*) AND pain AND (labo* OR "child birth" OR contraction)
e.g. CINAHL, ProQuest advanced search
"manual intervention*" OR massag* OR reflexology
labo* OR "child birth" OR contraction*