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Planning an effective search strategy can save you time and retrieve more relevant results
At this first stage, you need to work out:
What the assessment is asking you to do.
How you are going to search for answers to the question.
If you are confused or unsure about the assessment topic, ask your lecturer or tutor who will be happy to talk it through with you.
What is a search strategy?
A search strategy is a well thought out plan about how to search for relevant information. Using information sources in a consistent, structured manner will save you time. As your searching progresses and your searches are refined, your search history can be extremely useful. It can also improve the relevancy of results obtained, as you reflect on your keywords and synonyms and how these relate to each other.
To develop a search strategy you will need to:
define your assessment question - what is it that you are going to research?
identify key words, terms and phrases - called a Topic Analysis - concept/mind maps can help tease out themes and keywords
identify keyword synonyms
determine a timeframe from your research, if needed
consider what type material you will include and why
identify where you will search for the information