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Research 101

Searching worksheet


Road signs


This unit covers how to choose and use a database correctly, and how to craft your research question (and related vocabularies) into search queries that can be understood by computers.


  • Distinguish a database from other types of information collections
  • Identify the coverage of a database
  • Understand the concept of field, or advanced searching in a database
  • Construct effective search queries using logical operators and related strategies

Library Learning Outcomes

(Click for full list of learning outcomes)

After this module, the student should be able to:

  • 2d. Select information resources (catalog, databases, search engines) appropriate for the research topic.
  • 2e. Use various search techniques such as keywords, controlled vocabulary, limiters, Boolean operators, and truncation to find relevant items.
  • 3a. Understand that search results may be presented according to various ordering principles (e.g. relevance ranking, author, title, or date).
  • 3d. Analyze the search results and determine whether the search should be refined.

Photo: limonda

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