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Try these steps. An example is given for each
|1. Analyse your topic
Does television promote aggression in young people?
- Questions you could ask yourself:
- What is aggression and how do you define it?
- What types of programmes might promote aggression in young people?
- Are younger children likely to be more affected than older? males more than females?
- Do other media have the same effect?
- What kinds of information do I need? Academic research? Examples from the news? International? New Zealand?
2. Identify keywords
- Highlight the main words in your assignment question
- Think of other words that have a very similar meaning; you may need to use a dictionary or a thesaurus to find these alternative keywords and synonyms
- Think of alternative spellings as well. Remember that American spelling can be different from New Zealand
in young people
anti social behaviour
Other common spelling differences between New Zealand and America include:
Different expressions may also be used in New Zealand from in America:
|3. Use these tools
Use "..." so that words that form a phrase will not be separated in your search
Example "young people"
Search different word endings, including plurals, by adding a truncation symbol *
Examples aggress* child*
( Note: most databases use* The Library Catalogue uses ? )
Synonyms with OR
Example child or adolescent or teenager
BooleanExample in ProQuest Central
Think about how your search terms fit together. How many will you use?
Most databases provide boxes for you to fill in. These boxes are linked by AND, OR, NOT
||fruit AND vegetables
AND narrows your search
|fruit OR vegetables
OR broadens your search
4. Refine your search
Not happy with your search results?
||Use more truncation, synonyms and different terms; check your spelling; try a different database
Use more specific keywords, limit by date or type of publication (see above ProQuest example)
||Rethink your keywords; use the database's "Suggested Topics"; rank your results by Most Relevant, e.g.