Research is a skill that needs to be learned and is beyond being able to search Google. Academic research conducted online utilizes databases that include articles and books that are protected by copyright and are not freely available online.
The 5 Steps for Successful Research
1) Identify the topic or research question.
2) Break topic into keywords.
3) Create search strategy using keywords.
4) Brainstorm related terms and modify search strategy as needed.
5) Evaluate results and select articles.
Watch the brief video below showing how to complete these steps for your final project. To the right you will find links to the databases suggested for researching this topic when you get to step 3.
Databases may be confusing when you first try using them. But understanding how databases work is essential to growing your research skills.
There are three search components in most databases:
The following video will help you learn the basics of database searching. The video references this guide if you'd like to learn more: Keyword Searching: Finding Articles on Your Topic.
The topic always dictates what database you should choose.
The topic of this assignment is within the broader topic of Education. Below are the 2 recommended databases for researching education topics.
Boolean operators connect your keywords to create a logical phrase that the database can understand.
They tell the database exactly what you want to find.
|Boolean Operator||What it Does||How to Use|
|AND||Finds articles that use BOTH keywords.
Finds articles that use EITHER of the keywords. Use the asterisk (*) to find different word endings.
|adult learn* OR adult students|
Excludes articles that use the keyword.
|NOT masters programs|
For more information about each operator and truncating with the asterisk, see the boxes to the right.