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Introduction to Research in Engineering

Define Your Topic

Define Your Topic - What are you trying to find?

1. Select a topic you are interested in.

2. Check an Encyclopedia or Handbook to help refine and narrow your topic.

3. Check for relevant Journals or Books through the Library's catalogue.

4. Look for a review article on your topic in one of our databases.

5. Check authoritative websites.

Collect your resources

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Search Tips

A) Prepare a Search Strategy

Step 1: Analyze your Topic: Think about your topic critically, take note of what has been done in your topic area and define the goals and objectives of your research.

Step 2:  Identify Key Concepts and Search Terms: Identify key concepts from your topic that you may want to use as search terms.

Step 3: Identify Search Limits:  Year(s),  Document Type (Conference Article; Monograph review), Language

Step 4: Use Boolean Logic

There are 3 Boolean logic operators that you can use when you are searching for articles. All databases list these operators.

“AND”  Narrows your search strategy (haiti AND soil erosion)

“OR”    Broadens your search strategy (earthquake OR seismic activity)

“NOT”   Eliminates certain details from your search strategy (economic NOT social)