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Learn the Library Session D: Hunting for information - Search like a pro!

Sharpening your search skills by exploring your research needs. Searching as an iterative and nonlinear process.

Natural Search Skills?

You spend a lot of time online!

Most of the time you are probably floating from one recourse/profile/page to another, trying to find out more. It may not always feel like it, but you're searching for something! Think about how you approach searching in your everyday life.

Have a burning question? Need to know more? Not sure if a "fact" a friend told you is true? Want to find out more about your friend or favorite celebrity? Is this news "fake"?

You probably start by going to Google or Wikipedia. After you get started then what? 

  • Do you find yourself following links or tags to take you to other posts or pages?
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  • Do you see something interesting? Does that lead you to a new topic or information? 

These are all skills you can translate to academic research!

What is my information "need"?

Before you start searching: What are your information or research needs?

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. What is the "scope" of the task OR what type of paper or assignment am I trying to produce?
  2. What types of information do I need to help me achieve my goal? (i.e. data, primary sources, background information?)
  3. What/who are the experts/scholars/organizations that are related to my area of focus?