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Here are some useful tips to help you get the most out of your catalog and database searches.
- Start with a keyword search. Keyword searches will give you a broad range of results so you can see more of the types of information available.
- Be sure to try multiple searches and search terms. Think of all the possible terms for a topic including alternate names, spellings, or abbreviations.
- Search by subject in IvyCat for "interior decoration" or "interior design" or "furniture" to yield successful search results for books on this subject
- When using IvyCat you can limit the results to local materials using the Location menu. Set it to Evansville for print and electronic materials or Evansville (no ebooks) for print only.
- Truncation allows you to search for all possible endings to a root word. For example using Child* in the databases will find results that contain child, children, childhood, child's, etc. (In the catalog use a question mark: Child?)
- The databases Academic Search Premier, ERIC, and Professional Development Collection are all owned by EBSCO. When you go in to any of these databases you can click on the blue Choose Databases link at the top of the page and select other databases to search all at the same time. This will slow the database down a bit, but can save you time in the long run.
When using Internet sources in a research project it is important to take critical look at the website you are using and to determine if it contains reliable information. Look for the following when evaluating websites.
Authority- Does the site have an author or sponsoring organization that is qualified and knowledgeable about the topic you are researching?
Accuracy- Is the information on the site correct? You may need to have a second source to fact check against if you are not sure.
Currency- Is the website up to date? Look for copyrights or the date the site was last updated to make sure you are not getting old data.
Objectivity- Is the Information on the site biased? Look for ads, editorial writings, or other indications that the site is meant to sway the audience to a particular point of view.
Coverage- How comprehensive is the site? Look to see if the the purpose or goals of the site are clearly given. Make sure they are not promoting a particular product or ideology.
Research Paper Assignment
Selecting a Topic for your Research Paper
Your research paper should discuss a major historic style, artist or topic pertaining to interior design. Five resources are required and only 2 may be from the Internet.
- If you are having trouble deciding on a topic to research, I suggest beginning with the library's reference resources.
- Be sure to keep an eye out for links to other articles that might be just right for you to research.
- Wikipedia list of Interior Designers*
*Reminder: Wikipedia is not a research resource, this is just a list of people you could do your research project on.
Call Number: NK2002 .D44 2015
Publication Date: 2015-10-27
Call Number: NK2115.5.S25 E49 2015
Publication Date: 2015-03-20
Call Number: TS171.4 .K69 2013
Publication Date: 2013-05-21
Simply knowing the right search terms can help immensely in the research process. Some recommended search terms are:
For the EBSCO Databases: Academic Search premier & MasterFile premier
- "Interior Decoration" is the search term to use to help narrow your results. It will work best when combined with the Name or Subject of whomever or whatever you are researching.
All other databases: Proquest research library & Opposing viewpoints
- "Interior Design" is the search term to use. Again you can combine this with your research subject.