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Step by Step: Details of the Research Process

Search Strategy

Now that you have done the background reading and have a framework for understanding your topic, look at your thesis statement, [hypothesis, or research question] and translate it into a search strategy that can be used to find books and journal articles. 

1. Learn how to develop an effective search strategy.

  • Identify the significant concepts in your question.
  • Identify synonyms and other related words for each concept. These become your keywords
  • Add connectors (and/or)

Example:  Do video games make children more violent?Do video games make children more violent example


2. Then use this Search Strategy Builder from the University of Arizona Libraries to develop your list of keywords.

Information Comes in Many Formats

There are many formats you will encounter while learning about your topic. While it is great to use less scholarly sources to get started, eventually you will need to use authoritative sources. Learn about these sources below especially "Types of Research Articles for Social Workers"... it will be so helpful!

Research Flowchart Review

  1. Select Topic
    1. Do Background Reading
    2. Narrow/Broaden Search
    3. Create Thesis Statement
  2. Develop Search Strategy
    1. Create list of keywords
    2. List questions to be answered
    3. Write a draft outline
Last Updated: Jun 12, 2024 4:57 PM