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Ekstrom Library

SOC 303: Research Methods (Potter): Search Exercise

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?