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CRIM 101 - Introduction to Criminology - Professor Arruda: Search Strategies

Search Strategies

Search Strategies: using keywords, truncation, and synonyms:

Relevant keywords are necessary for effective research.  Use your thesis statement to help you select useful keywords. 

You can start by taking keywords from your thesis statement, for example:

                  My Research Questions:

A restorative justice approach to reform attempts to reintroduce the offender into a community, offering opportunities for intellectual and spiritual growth, service, and personal accountability. RA can be very effective when victims are empowered with decision making about its application.

But don't stop there! Research is a process of trial and error, and often you won't get the results you want on your first attempts. There are two important ways to develop additional keywords that you should know about:

1. Use synonyms and related concepts: think of other words that mean the same or similar things as the words in your question. For example, the following words might be used: JUVENILE corrections, Communities of Restoration, psychotherapy, Humaita Prison, InnerChange Freedom Initiative (IFI) program.

2. Use truncation: the computer will locate alternative endings for a word when you place an asterisk -- the * symbol (shift eight on the keyboard) -- at end of the root of a word. For example, if I use victim* the computer will search victim AND victimization.

When searching, try different combinations of keywords. If you get too many results (for example, in a Google search), add more words to your search; if you get too few results (for example, when searching for books), use fewer keywords.

Now you're ready to begin your research.

TIP! Use Subject Headings to Guide Your Term Selection

Example of Subject Headings in the Catalog

 

 

Example of Subject Headings in a Database