Moving from a Research Question to an effective Search Strategy involves breaking down a Research Question into its Core Concepts and Alternate Terms then constructing an effective Search Strategy using Boolean operators, nesting, truncation, and phrase searching. Here's an example of the process, and use the Search Strategy Builder to generate your search strategy!
Now, we can copy and paste this Search Strategy into the database search field:
fortifi* AND (settlement OR dwellings OR “settlement patterns”) AND (mesoamerica OR maya OR olmec OR aztec OR zapotec)
Part of the research process is constantly re-evaluating your search strategy - how you might tweak it to get better results - here are some things to consider while searching:
The Search Strategy Builder is a tool designed to teach you how to create a search string using Boolean logic. While it is not a database and is not designed to input a search, you should be able to cut and paste the results into most databases’ search boxes.
Now copy and paste the above Search Statement into a database search box.
Here is a blank worksheet that you can use to break down your Research Question into its Core Concepts and then construct an effective Search Strategy using Boolean operators, nesting, truncation, and phrase searching.