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GEG 120-001 - Benson-Lira - Spring 2024

Library research for geography

Goals for this lesson

  1. Explain the peer review process
  2. Identify background sources appropriate to your topic
  3. Locate a relevant, scholarly article in a library database
  4. Give credit to the original ideas of others through proper attribution and citation
Have you ever attended a library research session before?
Yes: 13 votes (38.24%)
No: 21 votes (61.76%)
Total Votes: 34

Tips for Developing Keywords

Ask a question you're interested in finding the answer to 

Something that has controversy or more than one viewpoint

Something that you feel you could research or write about in detail:

  • Not too broad
    • You'll know a topic is too broad when you are overwhelmed with information in your research 
    • Examples: "artificial intelligence" 
  • Not too narrow
    • You'll know a topic is too narrow when you don't find enough information in your research
    • Example: "Does the use of artificial intelligence in Skokie, IL limit labor force participation among recent immigrant women ages 19-25?"
  • Just right! 
    • You will feel the information is manageable
    • Example: "What is the effect of automation on the labor market"

You will use your research question to formulate keywords 

  • Select the main ideas from your research question, for example: "automation" AND "labor market" 
  • Keyword terms should be specific, not general. Words like "aspects" or "effects" won't yield relevant results
  • Think of synonyms or related terms to broaden your search. Example: "artificial intelligence" OR "automation"

Activity: Roll the dice and brainstorm keywords

Instructions: Click on the die below and use that number as a challenge to brainstorm keywords and synonyms in preparation to create a search strategy. Creating a search strategy with multiple keywords and related terms will help you narrow down, or expand, on your research topics giving you precise results when you search the library's databases.