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Search Tips & Research Strategies: Home

Helpful Hints

  • Never type your entire research question or thesis statement in the search box.  Instead, use keywords and the Boolean Operators found in the Database Search Tips infographic to combine terms. 
  • Begin searching for a broad idea, then narrow your search as you learn more about your topic.  If you begin with a very specific search, you may miss out on great resources. 
  • Look for clues!  Pay attention to key phrases, people, and ideas that keep popping up.  Add those to your search.  When you find an article that meets your research needs, the footnotes and bibliography can lead you to other helpful resources. 

Search Tips

ProQuest Research Companion


Research Strategies

Scan and Skim

Begin by scanning and skimming the resource to determine its relevance to your research:




Using the BEAM Research Method

As you read through your resources (books, articles, etc.), use the BEAM Research Method to classify sections of the work into the following categories: background, exhibit, argument, and method.

For example, if you are reading background information, mark it with a "B" before moving on.  This will help you organize your thoughts as you work through sources.







Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License by Justina Elmore, University of Rochester.  Adapted from Kristin M. Woodward & Kate Ganski's "What Could A Writer Do With This Source?" {{cc-by-4.0}}