Instructions for today's activity:
You'll be put into your assigned discussion groups. Pick a topic that you are interested in researching for your Critical Academic Argument. You can be specific or very general, it doesn't matter! This is practice.
Explain in a sentence what you're looking for, out loud, with the other members of your group. Yes, out loud! "Thinking out loud" is a great way to improve your metacognition skills.
After each member of the group has talked, think of 2 or 3 keywords or phrases related to your topic, and think of 1 keyword or phrase for someone else in your group. 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? Talk about it with your group.
When we're done, I'll ask one person from each group 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.