When searching for information on a topic, it is important to be organised and have a clear search strategy in mind. Searching involves a number of steps, and you may have to repeat steps as you fine tune your search. Even if you have a topic, you must also find a research question, which identifies what you want to investigate.
When are you finished? The aim is to keep searching until you have sufficient information to enable you to answer your research question.
Information search process: RMIT University Library
Before starting your search: Make a broad scan on your topic, mapping down interesting words that match you research question, as keywords.
To retrieve relevant search results it's important to identify and use keywords that describe the main ideas of your topic or research question. Expand the list of keywords by finding alternative words. Keywords are also called "subject terms”. You will find that some databases suggest keywords to use, and some have a list of word called "thesaurus" - where you can find useful keywords.
Tips for using keywords:
After formulating a research question, the worksheet can serve as a tool that helps you to progress with your information search in a structured manner.