This is the "Develop Search Strategy" page of the "Bio1: Library Research" guide.
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A series of modules, mostly short videos, to explain the research process.
Last Updated: Aug 24, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Develop Search Strategy Print Page

Optional: Selecting Your Topic

If you are having difficulty selecting a topic watch this video. It may give you some ideas to help you tackle your project.

North Carolina State University Libraries

Video: 3:10


Optional: Still Stuck Trying to Find a Good Topic?2

Concept Map (or Mind Map) helps you develop your topic. It is simply a visual way of looking at your ideas and how they relate to each other. 


4. Creating An Effective Search Strategy

Save time and find what you need by setting up an effective search strategy.

Purdue University Libraries

Video: 3:07

Optional: Sources for Background Information

Background information can help you develop your topic because it:

  • gives you the specialized language and scientific terms you need to successfully search the Library's journal article databases
  • gives you the bigger picture on your topic and context for your research
  • Textbooks, Lab Manual
    Great beginning point. Reread your texts for the language used.
  • Wikipedia: River Ecosystem
    Use it for general understanding of content, language used, or explore references at end of an article. Take a look a the Table of Contents to focus on a specific topic.
  • Gale Virtual Reference
    Link between parts of the encyclopedia entry to find information on related topics.
  • Review Articles
    Run a search in your favorite article database and then use the limits to refine your search to "review" articles, or add "review" as a key word. Review articles are a synthesis of current literature on a specific topic.

5. Create Your Own Search Strategy Worksheet

Use this blank worksheet to create your own database search strategy. You may be required to turn it in by your instructor.


Go to the next section of the tutorial

Go back to the top of the page and continue with the Library Databases & Articles tab.


California State University, Sacramento | University Library | 2000 State University Drive East | Sacramento, CA 95819 | Phone: 916-278-5679


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