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Blue Mts - Teacher assistants: Research skills class

Advanced searching tips

Think about your keywords

Consider alternative words

Consider broader and narrower terms

Combine your words appropriately
as a phrase
using AND, OR or NOT

Use any relevant limits
within a site or
-  full text


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WSI Teacher Assistants libguide 




Searching tips

Summary of the research process

1. Planning :: What are my requirements? What do I know already about this group? Stakeholders? Keywords?

2. What can libraries offer? ::  books, documentaries, electronic resources

3. Who are the stakeholders and what are they saying? Use internet to target searches

4. Have i found alternative views :: some statistics and personal accounts 

5. Evaluating :: Review all the information you have found – any gaps?


Searching tips

Computers search for a string of letters in a row so use a variety of words in your searches 

Advanced searching :: combining keywords and using limits eg site limit in Google 

If you aren’t finding anything, think about why – and try changing keywords, or broadening or narrowing your search


Evaluate your information

-          Author and publisher :: who are they? what is their authority? 

      ::  what is their bias and purpose in writing or presenting this information? 

-          Coverage or scope : 

      ::   is the information appropriate for my purpose? eg appropriate level and depth?

      ::   have I found various sides of the story? Eg for and against in a controversial issue; or, some statistics as well as a personal account; or, information from a government department as well as from an advocacy group.

-          Currency ::   is the date important to your topic

-          Accuracy ::  can the information be verified from other sources?