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Search Strategy

Adopted from the original Search Strategy Worksheet on the HSU Library website

Getting Started with your Research Topic

Before searching indexes and catalogs you should clarify the information you are seeking by developing a search strategy. This guide presents a four-step process for creating a search strategy and gives tips for entering your search in indexes or catalogs. These resources are listed under Articles and Databases and Books on the HSU Library webpage.

Further information on some of the ideas presented -- free text keywords, controlled vocabulary, word truncation, boolean operators, nesting -- is found in the Begin Your Research tutorial.

Begin Your Research at HSU Tutorial

    • Increase your knowledge of the information cycle.
    • Sharpen your ability to locate information required for your assignments.
    • Proceed at your own pace.
    • Login with your HSU ID and Password to recieve credit from your instructor
    • Click the blue button at the bottom left of each section to move forward.
    • Click on a section to begin.

      module titles of tutorial series

        Section 1: Begin Research

        Learn more about understanding your assignment and choosing a suitable topic. Then you can select appropriate keywords to search.

        Average Time: 9 minutes

        Section 2: Knowledge Cycle

        Become familiar with the information cycle and the purpose of various information sources. Understand how different disciplines define primary, secondary, and tertiary sources.
        Average Time: 10 minutes

        Section 3: Find Books

        Discover why books can be valuable sources and learn where to search for them.

        Average Time: 9 minutes

        Section 4: Find Articles

        Find out how to locate articles from newspapers, magazines, and scholarly journals in library databases.

        Average Time: 9 minutes

        Make Citations icon - pencile

        Section 5: Make Citations 

        Discover why accurate citations are important and identify information required for any citation style.

        Average Time: 9 minutes

        Section 6: Basic Search

        Start a search and improve your search results by incorporating useful strategies.

        Average Time: 15 minutes

        Section 7: Advanced Search

        Increase your search skills by incorporating subject searching, limiting by specific fields, and exploring additional databases.
        Average Time: 12 minutes

        Other Resources

        Subject Guide

        Tim Miller's picture
        Tim Miller
        Office: Library 307
        Research Help Desk hours:
        T 5-7p
        W 3-5p