Follow this activity and keep notes on your group's powerpoint slides.
STEP 1: Brainstorm with your group and determine two possible subtopics that you can use for this activity.
STEP 2: Identify keywords that you would like to use to find information sources for each subtopic.
STEP 3: Use the same keywords and run the same search in the two databases listed below. Repeat for your second subtopic.
STEP 4: Summarize your searches on your group's slides, using the template provided.
STEP 5: Prepare yourselves to present your searches to the rest of the class. Your entire group's presentation should take no more than 2 minutes.
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
Combining search terms with OR will:
Search for movie = 199,781 results
Search for film OR movie = 642,906 results that mention either film or movie, or both
Search for "middle school" = 21,401 results that mention "middle school"
Search for "junior high" = 7,261 results
Search for "middle school" OR "junior high" = 28,177 results that mention either "middle school" or "junior high", or both
Search for "Hunger Games" NOT movie = 487 results
Search for cloning = 42,736 results
Search for cloning NOT human = 30,325 results
Search engines attempt to match your terms to the items it searches (titles, authors, abstracts, description fields, full text, etc).
However, search engines do NOT understand phrases, sentences, or questions. So when it does this matching, it searches for each term indivdiually. Some searches attempt to find terms in proximity to each other, but this varies depending on where you search.
If your search terms are more than single worlds, employ quotation marks to show the search engine that you want the terms to be found together. The search will look for exactly what you place in the quotation marks, so be sure there are no mistakes.
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
Email Butler University Libraries
Irwin Library: 317-940-9227
Science Library: 317-940-9937