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PSY-1205 Nature of Work - Mental Health

Pre-Search Planning

Before diving in to your searching, take some time to think and plan your approach.
This will save you time (and confusion) later on!


Review Assignment Requirements or Guidelines

Review your assignment for the following:
  1. Do you just need to find an article or two, or are you being asked to do something more in-depth?
  2. Familiarize yourself with the subject on which you will be researching and writing. Do you have questions or opinions about the topic? Jot down any notes of subtopics or related topics you'd like to explore.
  3. What types of sources will you need to find and reference in support of your arguments?

Search Term Brainstorming

  • Take your research question or research topic and pick out the separate concepts or themes within it.
  • For each individual concept / theme, brainstorm synonyms for that term, and write them down or put them in a Word doc. Think about abbreviations, variations on spelling, etc.
  • A concept table or concept map can be helpful in focusing your thinking and in developing search strings to use in the databases.

Consider your Organization Strategy

How will you keep track of what you find? A few suggestions...
  • As you discover sources, always download and save a copy, if you can. Or if it is a website, try print to PDF.
  • Create a Word document and copy / paste citations into it, as you discover sources. Use the database's Cite functionality, and paste the citation into your Word doc - you will need to double check it, now or later.
  • Take notes in your Word doc, under each source's citation - e.g. a quotation that you want to use, with page number, or what part of your research question this source helps you with, and how.