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Education Research Guide

Keyword Searching

Synonyms

A keyword search looks for items that contain that word or phrase in the title, abstract, description, text, etc. Different writers use different terminology, so be sure to think of synonyms or similar words. If you search for student, you won't get papers that use the term learner‚Äč instead. To search for both terms, you can use the OR boolean: student OR learner.

What are Booleans?

Booleans are words that are used to connect search terms-

  • OR will broaden your search by searching for items with either term: student OR learner will retrieve papers that have at least one of the words.

  • AND will narrow your results by only searching for items that contain both terms: curriculum AND active learning will only retrieve papers that include both words in the text.

  • NOT will narrow your search by excluding results that contain that term: active learning NOT play will retrieve papers that discuss active learning but not play.

Subject Searching

Subject headings are similar to tags in that they are assigned to works that are related to the topic. Unlike a keyword search, subject heading searches will find books that don't necessarily have the term in the title or abstract but are about that subject. You can think of a subject heading results list as a list of recommended books on a topic. 

Guide to Sources

IS THIS THE RIGHT SOURCE? TYPES OF SOURCES AND WHAT THEY CAN DO FOR YOUR RESEARCH  PRIMARY SOURCES These are original materials that have not been interpreted  or analyzed.  They can be used as evidence in your research. Primary Source
Examples: Newspaper, Photographs, Data, Journal articles , Letters or diaries, Speeches , Novels or poems and more! SECONDARY SOURCES These sources are not first hand accounts , but rather analysis or discussion of events after they have happened or after a primary source was created. Secondary Sources can provide further evidence and support your argument. Secondary Source
Examples: Encyclopedias, Histories, Literary Criticism, Review Articles, Literature Review, Research Paper, and more! TERTIARY SOURCES These are collections of primary and secondary sources and do not have critical analysis or interpretation. Tertiary sources help you locate other sources and information. Tertiary Source Examples:
Bibliographies, Directories, Indexes, Manuals, Finding Aids, And More! NEED MORE HELP? ASK A LIBRARIAN! Visit the Research Help Desk Mon.-Thurs. (10-7pm), Fri. (10-1pm), Sun. (1-5pm)
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Contact Us!

If you have any questions, are having trouble choosing a topic, or can't find information on your topic, we are here for you! There are many ways to get in touch with an HSU librarian:

Other Research Guides & Tutorials

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