Research & Physical Activity
Creative Commons by-nc-nd 2.0 as confirmed September, 2013
Where Do I Start?
At the beginning, research can seem daunting. Research is a process. Any process takes time and effort. Save yourself some time by preparing yourself going into it.
Build a Research Strategy
Start by asking, "What do I already know about this topic?" What do you want to know? Do you need to build background information, or have you already done that?
Turn your topic into a question. Statements, like assumptions, close off your search possibilities; questions open them, and lead to more questions, which leads to better search results.
Brainstorm what disciplines might yield more information on this topic. Does this topic have a historical angle? A sociological one? Has it been explored in literature? What kinds of scholars might have written about it?
Compile a list of searchable terms. Look at your basic search terms and come up with synonyms, like-terms, and alternate phrases to broaden your search.
Search widely. Use a number of different tools: databases, the library catalog, and Google Scholar are just a few. Look at different formats: books, journal articles, encyclopedias, newspapers... Don't give up if your first search goes bust!
Use search facets to narrow your results. Does a certain author write on this topic? Were people writing more often about this topic during a certain date range? Is there a subject term that would makre your search more specific?
Be flexible. If you're still not finding anything on your topic, you may need a new one. If your favorite database or search engine isn't coming up with anything, try a different tool. Be resourceful.
(503) 883 - 2262
Use the TABS Across the Top of this Guide
The library offers a variety of types of resources to help you at various stages in your research process.
The TABS along the top of this guide link to descriptive information and access to find what you need from encyclopedias, books, journal articles, and more.