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CFS 493 Professional Development: Starting Your Search

Before You Search

1. Identify your question/topic

For beginning your search for research articles, consider your question and identify the key components. 

How does bullying impact school performance in high school?

  • Concept 1: Bullying
  • Concept 2: School performance
  • Concept 3: High school

2. Define your terms

Do any of the concepts need to be operationalized or more focused?  

For example, what does "school performance" mean? We'll need to decide if we want to look at something like 

  • grades
  • graduation rates

3. Brainstorm synonyms or related terms that might be helpful for the search

  • Concept 1: Bullying or harassment
  • Concept 2: grades or graduation rates
  • Concept 3: high school students, secondary school students, adolescents

From Question to Keyword

Before you start searching for resources, take a few moments to think of the relevant terms that you might want to search with. This will help you build and revise your search.

This one-minute video provides an example of brainstorming keywords from a research question.