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Preparing your search

Break down your research question

Planning your search can help you find everything you need. Identify which terms are necessary to include in your search, and consider different ways in which those concepts could be expressed...

Think about what you're searching

Searching the catalogue, 1980s-style

How you go about your search will depend on where it is you're searching.

Most academic resources will not include the full text of an article, so your search terms will need to match against things like the title, author names, abstract summary, and any keywords that have been added by the cataloguers.

Look at your search results to see what your search terms have been matched against. The search results may suggest other terms to try.

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Framing your research question

In this session we look at how to come up with a workable research question with regard to available literature: is there enough information to provide a suitable background? What limits will you need to set? It's a session which is ideal for anyone about to start on a dissertation or thesis. We explore a range of different sources including academic, government and organisational literature.