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DIG into Research!: Assess

Is it working?

Assess as you Develop your Search Strategy

Getting too many results?

Your search is too broad.  You need to find more search words to add.  

For example, if you are looking for information about diabetes, you will find too much information--what causes it? Is obesity related? How is it treated? What are the side effects of the treatments? How does it affect the rest of your health? Is it different for kids than it is for adults?

Pick an avenue to research, and narrow your topic to that area.

Tons of results, but not what I'm looking for

You need to refine your search--change it up to reflect what you are REALLY looking for.  Maybe you need to change your search terms.  Can you find any synonyms that would work better?  For instance, if you are looking for information on teenagers in the prison system but can't find much that is applicable, maybe you need to be looking for juvenile incarceration. 

Sometimes the language used in a certain field is very specific, and if you don't know that language, you can't find what you need.  Find one good article, then look at all the subject terms linked to it.  You might find more by using some of them, instead.

Not getting any results?

Your search is too narrow.  You have picked a topic that is too specific.  For example, if you are researching art in the 1930s in Indiana, you won't find much, if anything.  However, if you research art in the 1930s, you will find plenty.  Or if you choose to, you can research art in Indiana, with no specified time period.  

Many topics that narrow would take very specialized databases and years of research to complete.  Don't set yourself up for failure! Be flexible in your research and you will be surprised how much information you will find!

The Research Process is flexible!