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Ekstrom Library

POLS 321: Public Opinion (Enders): Search Exercise

Political Science Databases

If you would like to search for a book on your topic, return to the main page of the library website to search the catalog WorldCat Discovery.

Search Exercise

The goal of this exercise is to become comfortable with searching for the databases by reflecting on your search process - noting areas of the search process where you feel comfortable, and noting areas where you're encountering barriers and may want to follow-up with a librarian or your professor.

Please answer 3 of the following questions, PLUS the final required question. Then, talk with the person next to you about your responses - after, we'll compile these as a class to create a shared document on good research practices. 

  • What search features am I using, and which do I find to be the most helpful? 

  • What am I learning about my topic that could inform or change how I am searching for sources? 

  • What keywords seem to work best? Why? What strategies am I using to identify alternative keywords? 

  • Am I able to tell what is a credible source and what’s not so credible? If not, why not? 

  • What strategies am I using to keep track of the potentially useful sources I find? 

  • In what specific ways am I thinking about using each source in my paper?  Give an example.  

  • What is most difficult for me about searching?  Most confusing?  What can I change now, going forward, to adjust to these?

  • In general, what strategies am I trying / using as I search and explore?   Are they working well?  What strategies did I start to use only to find out they didn’t work?  How did I then modify my approach?

  • What questions for follow-up do I have?

  • REQUIRED question:  What have I learned as I strategized / searched? What advice or strategy suggestions would I give my classmates as they search?