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Political Science 301 - Introduction to Government: United States (Reese)

Librarian's Handout

Before you begin your research

Understand the Assignment

Your Assignment

  • How many pages?
  • How many sources?
  • What kinds of sources?

If you don't understand or have questions about your assignment, your professor is the only person who can help.

Selecting Keywords and other Search Tips

One of the greatest challenges in starting a new research project is deciding which search terms best describe your topic as you begin the search for resources.  Try to be really succinct/to the point and use just a couple of keywords instead of typing long sentences. The video explains all of this quickly (less than 2 minutes!), so please watch it now. Here are few more tips:

  • Enter keywords that represent your topic:   
  • Limit searches to two or three keywords:   education legislation         
  • Don't search with sentences, questions, or long phrases.
  • Combine terms with OR to broaden:   environmental law  OR  environment legislation (this would find items with environmental law, environment legislation or both)
  • Combine terms with AND to narrow:  consumer safety AND legislation AND  history (this would find items with consumer safety and legislation and history only)
  • Place quotation marks around words you wish to be searched as a phrase: "Wilderness Act" Congress

Keywords Video

Video by CRC Library