1. Determine your research topic. Often times, this can/will be phrased as a research question.
2. Identify the main ideas or concepts of your topic.
3. Build a keyword list. Start with your main ideas or concepts, and then try to come up with as many synonyms or related terms for each main idea or concept that you can.
4. Following this, it's time to search! Selecting the proper database(s) to perform your search will drastically impact your results. If it's your first time trying this style of search, or you just want to take a peek at what's out there, try Academic Search Complete. Subject LibGuides, your librarian, and professor may be able to help you select appropriate databases.
Don't get discouraged if your search returns few results: depending on how specialized your research topic is, you may need to try a more specialized database, alter your keywords, or try different combinations. Visit Bailey Library's Research Services or Request an appointment with your Personal Librarian for assistance!
Determine Your Research Topic or Question
Do high school student athletes have higher or lower grades than their non-athlete peers?
Identify Main Ideas or Concepts
Do high school students athletes have higher or lower grades than their non-athlete peers?
Build a Key Word List
|Concept 1: High School||Main Idea 2: Student Athletes||Main Idea 3: Grades|
Grades 9 - 12
sport or sports players
**you may want to try individual sport player i.e. football players, basketball players, etc.
Scores (this might get tricky)*
Grade Point Average
Search using combinations of the above terms
At this point, you may want to make a list of where you're searching or where you plan to search. You could also work out how to combine these search terms in different ways, perhaps with Boolean Operators.