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Library Research Basics: Piece your statement together

This guide will help you to use the library's resources for your research. Learn to find books and articles, evaluate resources, use specific databases, choose a topic, etc. Access documentation and video tutorials to help with the research process

Piecing it Together

The research organization worksheet linked below brings together all aspects of the research process we've learned so far:

  • The topic and research question
  • The concept terms from the research question
  • Synonyms for each concept term (that you've brainstormed or learned from a reference source or from a broad search in a multidisciplinary database)
  • Utilization of Boolean Operators: AND OR
  • Truncation (aggressi* will return results for the words aggressive and aggression)
  • Phrase Searching ("video games" in quotes will return results for the two words together as a phrase)

This is a visual way to organize your research.  The information on the chart can then be transferred easily to a database.

Use this blank worksheet below to create your own search statement:

Other Resources

Creating a Search String
Des Moines Area Community College tutorial on creating a search string.

Search String Builder
Georgia State University tool for creating a search string using Boolean

Create a Search Statement Sample Worksheet

searching chart

Word Algebra

The worksheet above can be transcribed into a search string (What I like to call "word algebra")

Here's how it would look written out:

("Video Games" OR "Grand Theft Auto" OR "Mortal Combat") AND (Violen* OR Aggressi*) AND (Child* OR Teen* OR Adolescen*)

Here's how it would look in a database:

search string

Notice that this particular database automatically inserts the Boolean operator AND.  Use a different search box for each concept, listing a few of your best synonyms separated by the Boolean operator OR.  Notice, too, that the Boolean operators are in all caps.