#1 Identify your question. Identify the key concepts and related terms.
Tip: You may decide to re-phrase your question. Background reading and preliminary database searches can help you identify related terms and further define or narrow your topic.
#2 Find an appropriate search tool. Consider your subject matter, discipline of study, type of information needed (e.g. peer reviewed articles)
#3 Start with a simple search based on your key concepts. Tip: You may also have to look at literature that refers to one (not all) aspects of your research question.
#4 Use specific search strategies.
#5 Search and skim results. Look for the language and terms that researchers use and that the database assigns to articles (Subjects).
#6 Switch up your searches. Use promising new terminology. Your search may become more sophisticated.
#7 Explore bibliographies to locate other articles, books, or authors who have written on the same topic. Find known items. Tip: See "Find a Known Item" tab on this guide.
Not all authors use the same language to describe similar topics, so you will need to try out a variety of searches in databases.
Example: What are the interpretations of paleolithic art?