Welcome to the Library Resource Guide supporting Dr. Molly Harzog's ENGL 308 class! This tabbed guide will help connect you to the FSU Ort Library's resources for researching the Social Sciences and give you tips about how to use them.
This page begins with some search strategy tips. Below you find:
When searching the library research databases or OneSearch, it's good to have a strategy. Unlike Google or Internet search engines, the databases and OneSearch can't interpret natural language or strings of unconnected words. You should identify the key concepts in your thesis or research question and then brainstorm for a few alternative terms and synonyms that go along with them. Then you can connect and combine those terms in different ways using Boolean (see video in box below).
For example, what if you were researching the question:
What kinds of treatment are there for veterans with PTSD?
The key concepts are obviously the words I underlined:
It's good to have a few synonyms and related terms for your key concepts. They may also be helpful in your search!
|therapy, intervention, cure, healing, etc.||military, soldiers, etc.||post-traumatic stress disorder, shell shock, combat fatigue, PTSS, etc.|
Now I can develop either a basic search statement:
treatment AND veterans AND PTSD
Or a more advanced search statement, throwing in some related terms and synonyms:
(treat* OR therap*) AND veterans AND (PTSD OR PTSS)
Find out why I combined terms with AND and OR in the video below (capitalization and bold type just for emphasis)!
This YouTube video from the University of Auckland, New Zealand demonstrates how to combine search keywords using the Boolean AND, OR, and NOT. It also shows you how to apply Boolean searching in a variety of database and catalog search screens.