LSU Libraries User Instruction
Searching Techniques and Strategies Tutorial

Generating Search Terms

The process of picking out a topic and defining terms for any kind of research project is a lot like planning a trip: if you don't know where you want to get to, then you can't plan how to get there. Formulating a definite topic at the outset of your project ensures that you don't waste any time running after information that you don't want or can't use, and makes the entire research process easier on you.

The first step is to identify your topic. You can do this first in general terms. Look at your interests and hobbies. Is there anything there you could make a research project out of? The more interested you are in your topic, the more energy you'll invest in it. Do you follow sports? Do you like computers? Maybe you read a lot of fantasy and science fiction? All of those are interests you can incorporate into a research project.

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