Create a Good Search Strategy

Creating a Good Search Strategy

 There are 2 steps to creating a good search strategy:

1) Think about what information you need to find

  • Break your topic down into main concepts or keywords. 
    • Think of synonyms, variant spellings, and related concepts.
  • You will use these keywords when you start searching for background material, books, videos, articles, and web pages on your topic.

For example, if your research question is:

How is biotechnology used in food production in Canada?

Some keywords are:

  • biotechnology
  • genetic modification
  • genetically modified
  • bio engineering
  • food(s)
  • Canada
  • Canadian

2) Ask yourself: where is that information likely to be?

There are many different types of sources that will offer different information. The following chart will help you decide where to look:

Get This...Using These...
  • definitions, general overviews, and statistics – 
  • a general idea of the main issues pertaining to your topic.
  • background information on your topic to see where it fits in your discipline. 
  • a thorough treatment of a broad subject. bibliographies that can lead you to other relevant sources.
Books and Videos
  • information that is in-depth and focused. 
  • detailed information about a certain event or topic.
Research Databases (eg. Journals, Magazines, and Newspapers)
Anything and everything is here, but remember that includes information that is biased, unreliable, or even wrong.Internet/World wide web