Starting your research

You have an assigment or project to do and you need to find some information. Before you think about looking at any research resource it is important to STOP and THINK about your topic:

What vocabulary do you think people writing about this topic will have used?
What words might a database have used to describe or categorize your topic?

For example, most databases and most academic literature would not use UK to reference the United Kingdom. They would spell it out in full, and therefore so should you.

What spelling might be used with reference to your topic?
Will you need to search for 'theatre' or 'theater'? 'Organization' or 'organisation'? 'Colour' or 'color'?

Is there anything in your research topic where we use two or more words to describe something (a name, a place, a concept)?
What about pina baush, eugenio barba, Charlie chaplin? 
What about  united kingdom, united states, middle east, stratford east?
What about theatre workshop, theatre of the oppressed, ensemble theatre, film theory, youth culture, performance sound, lighting desk?

Are there cases where two or more words might be used interchangeably to describe the topic? Marketing / advertising, for example, or theatre / drama.

So before you even approach a research database, think about your topic and make a note of the points above. We can put this to good use later.

Let's move on to look at Boolean operators.



Last modified: Monday, 5 October 2015, 10:44 AM