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Brainstorm Search Terms

Students generally attack research in a prompt and hasty fashion. When research is done well it is thorough, methodical, and efficient. Begin your research by brainstorming all key words, phrases, any possible search terms related to your narrowed topic. You will use this list to search indices of books, databases, and the Internet.

Examples of a brainstorm using the topic Ernesto “Che” Guevara

Sample Brainstorm

Once you have the search terms you should set up a table, and add the terms to the table along with all possible sources. Creating a table will help you organize your research time as well as make sure you are getting all the information available. As you exhaust a search term in a particular source, put an X in the intersecting box and move onto the next search term. You should move vertically through table i.e. using the all search terms to look in books from the School library before moving to books from the public libraries, and then on to databases, etc.

Example of search table 



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