Instructions for today's activity:
Choose one of the following topics to research:
• Coca-Cola advertising
• Kent State University massacre on May 4, 1970
• The Brady Bunch TV series
• Apollo 11 moon landing
• Vietnam War
• Richard Nixon's presidency
• Music of the 1960's
Think of 2 or 3 keywords or phrases related to your topic. If you're not sure, glance through your readings, your lecture notes, or a Wikipedia entry on the topic for some important people, events and dates. Add those keywords to the Padlet card using the pencil icon. Now, using those keywords, do some quick searches in some of the databases we looked at. What did you learn that you didn't already know?
When we're done, I'll ask several students to share one thing they learned from this exercise.
Think about it: search engines crawl thousands, maybe even millions and billions, of pages or records trying to match your search term with results. You're going to be absolutely overwhelmed with results if you only enter a single search term. You're also going to find a lot of completely irrelevant stuff.
So how can you improve your chances?
Come up with multiple search terms and combine them using the options described here.
Combining search terms with AND will:
Search for politics = 296 million results
Search for "college student" AND politics = 43 million results more focused on your topic
Search for "college student" AND politics AND "2008 election" = 543,000 more relevant results
Search for Adam Smith = 38,700,000 results
Search for "Adam Smith" = 2,730,000 results
Search for theory of relativity = 3,430,000 results
Search for "theory of relativity" = 856,000 results
Broad/General Academic Searches
Find books, articles, media, and more at Butler and beyond
Do you know what sort of subject area that your research falls under? Try finding a database through the Databases Grouped by Subject page. Pick a subject and you'll be taken to a page where the liaision librarian for that subject has compiled a list of appropriate databases for you to use.