Evaluate your Question
To make the most effective and efficient use of library databases - to find the good stuff fast - it helps to focus on the main concepts in your topic. If you think about the main parts of your question, you can clear out the extra stuff that can confuse your results and you can change the words you use to describe each of your concepts. If one search term does not get you the results you want, for example, you can think of another way to describe that concept and try again.
Use the following exercizes to see how this works. Don't worry if you don't get 100%. It is more imporant to get the main idea of this than to get the details.
Question to Concepts
On a piece of paper of using the form below, write out your question and select the major concepts you will need.
- Actually write out a question starting with a question word: what, where, why, how, who, when. This will make the interaction of your major concepts more obvious.
- For research purposes, you might need to ask and parse several smaller questions to fully answer your research topic.
- Make mistakes - there is no single right way to do this. Try something, if it does not work, adjust and try again.
Dan the Librarian