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Research 101: Getting Started: Developing Good Search Strategy

Know how to choose a good topic, create a good search, & read critically.

A Few More Tips: Search Strategy, Articles, & Databases

Take the Challenge!

Our Topic: Teachers' Role in Dealing with Bullying in School

Our Mission: To Develop a Search Strategy

It's Up to You: How would you develop a search strategy for this topic? Go through each of the steps below, think of what you would do, then compare it to what we recommend.

The key concepts in our topic are:

  • teachers
  • bullying
  • school
  • role

You'll notice these are all nouns. That's typical because these are concepts--not actions and not descriptive adjectives.

A good initial search strategy might be combining our key concepts with AND to bring back results with each of these words in them:

teachers AND school AND bullying AND role

We could put this search strategy in the database Academic Search Complete:

Search screen of Academic Search Complete with: teachers AND role AND school AND bullying

After reviewing our search results for our initial search, we might find a need to revise our search. Here's one way we might do so:

teachers AND school AND bullying AND (role OR impact)

Search screen in Academic Search Complete with teachers AND school AND bullying AND role or impact

And here's one of our results:

Search Result: Record for the article "Bullying: The Impact of Teach Management and Trait Emotional Intelligence"

Take a look at the subjects listed below this one result. Now we have a few more good ideas! Here's another search to try:

("teacher influence" OR "teacher role") AND "school bullying"

We took these from the clues in our subjects listed in the record for the one article from our results because these are the terms the database uses. And that's how search strategy development works!