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Asian M60W / Religion M60W: Introduction to Buddhism

Mapping Your Research Topic

Not sure how to develop your topic? This video tutorial will help you begin the process.

Formulating a Search Strategy

Often, language that seems the most natural to use isn't neccessarily the most effective when searching for information. Spending time  brainstorming search terms will making searching easier.

Based on your work from the Mapping a Topic excercise, use the Formulating A Search Strategy exercise to identify useful search terms and strategies that you can apply when looking for resources.

Shaping Your Topic

Too Many Results?

When your search retrieves too many results, focus or narrow your search by adding another key concept to your search statement using AND.

Example: If the search statement television and violence and children retrieves too many items and your hypothesis is that viewing violence on television causes children to be more aggressive, a relevant additional concept to add might be aggression.

Search statement: television and violence and children and aggression

Redirecting your topic can also focus and narrow your search results. As you are researching your topic, you may find new, interesting ideas and topics that you had not thought of before. You may want to redirect your research to a new focus based on what you have found.

Too Few Results?

If your search retrieves too few results, broaden your focus. One approach: think about dropping one of the key concepts from the search statement.

Example: If you don't find enough searching for television and violence and children, try searching just for the two primary concepts of your research focus: television and children.

Search statement: television and children

Another approach when you find too few results would be to look for synonyms and alternate terms for some of your key concepts.