Moving from a Topic to an effective Search Strategy involves Narrowing a Topic, breaking it down into its Core Concepts, and then constructing an effective Search Strategy using Boolean operators, nesting, truncation, and phrase searching. Here's an example:
Now, we can copy and paste this Search Strategy into a search field:
“united states” AND (opinion OR “public opinion” OR attitudes OR beliefs) AND (immigra* OR “illegal immigra*” OR “illegal aliens”)
"Moving from a Research Question to a Search Strategy" by Mandy Swygart-Hobaugh is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
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 Strategy 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.