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ON YOUR MARKS ...
1.Do background reading, familiarize yourself with your topic.
Analyse your topic to identify concepts:
–nouns and verbs
–reformulate your topic
–who - what - where - when – why
3.Define search terms, Boolean operators, wildcards, truncation.
Define search terms:
•Include synonyms, use a reference book (dictionary and thesaurus) to find synonyms,
•British vs American English spelling,
•Subject Headings for books in the library system and thesauri of the databases [controlled vocabulary],
• Hierachies - broader terms eg national symbols when searching for flags, narrower terms eg flags and anthems when searching for national symbols,
•Jargon in the field and plain English other related terms that may have evolved,
•Add your subject to narrow down results, if necessary.
Define Boolean operators:
•Combine your search terms with AND, OR or NOT.
•OR broadens the search, NOT narrows the search.
•The Advanced Search option in databases has rows with search options, linked by AND, OR and NOT.
The default setting is AND.
Define wildcards and truncation:
A wildcard is a symbol used to replace or represent one or more characters.
Asterisk * add to end of word to retrieve variant endings
Number sign Hash # replace letter in a word
Quotation marks " " create a phrase
Question mark ? replaces letters in a word
•Reali#ation: realisation, realization
•Globali#ation: globalization, globalisation
•arch?4logy: archaeology, archeology
•“south* Africa*”: southern Africa, southern African, south Africans etc.