Q. How do I search better for research?


First, review your assignment and determine what type of research you need. If you need information on recent events, you want a newspaper. If it’s historical events, a book. If you need some factual background information, try an encyclopedia or the library’s Credo Reference database. If you need research that shows relationships between two or more things or overviews the findings of published literature, such as articles showing how alcohol use influences crime rates, then you want journal articles.

Log into the library website (https://studentlogin.aiuniv.edu/portal/5/library/pages/libraryhome.aspx) and use either the search box on the main page or visit the Find Articles and eBooks page (top left), select the desired database, and search there. You should consider what information you are looking for and form that into a question (Such as: “Does alcohol prohibition lower automobile accident rates?”).

Take that question and identify the key subjects, then use those as search keywords. (Example: For the above question I might use: alcohol, prohibition, automobile, accident). In your search results, there are filters to the left. You can use those to limit to specific types of resources (such as journal articles). You may also need to search a few times using words that mean similar things to those you have already used. (For example, instead of ‘automobile’ I might try ‘car’ if I’m not seeing the results that I want).

This video tutorial series can also help you on conducting basic research (It’s less than 11 minutes long for three videos): http://careered.libsurveys.com/IntroResearch

If you need additional help, use the contact information on this page to contact the library!

  • Last Updated Sep 20, 2018
  • Views 0
  • Answered By Daniel Wilson

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