Identify the key ideas for your topic
Highlight the main concepts or keywords in your assignment question. These words will form the basis of your search.
Consider synonyms and related terms:
To do a really effective search you will need to consider what words a variety of authors writing about your topic might use. Ask yourself:
What synonyms or related words might be included in my search? e.g.
adolescents / teenagers / youth
prison / incarceration
What about search words with variant endings?
This is especially important for finding both the singular and plural of words. e.g.victim/victims
On most databases you can use an asterisk at the end of a word stem to find other endings, e.g. violen* will find violence or violent
What about search words with different spellings?
You may need to search for both British and American spellings of words. Use an asterisk (*) on MultiSearch to find alternatives, e.g. behavi* to find behavior or behaviour.
Experiment with combinations of search words to find a good range of articles on your topic.
Journals publish the latest academic research on a topic. Find journal articles by using the recommended databases for Criminal Justice.
MultiSearch lets you quickly search across a range of the Library’s resources in one place, including books and journal articles.
If you need help searching databases to find journal literature, please contact Kerry Gilmour, Subject Librarian for Criminal Justice.
The Web has a lot of information, but not all of it is reliable or appropriate for academic research. Government web sites can be particularly useful to locate reports, statistics and policy information.
Read more on:
Read out more about evaluating information.