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Frederick E. Berry Library and Learning Commons

Professor Judkins ENL 110 Foundations of Writing

Analyze Your Research Need

  • What do you know from your assignment?
    • What do you have to find?
    • What do you have to do with the information?
    • What are key words that describe your topic?
      • Name any synonyms for these key words
      • Name any proper nouns (organizations, etc.) associated with these key words

Search Strategy Example: "Is College the Best Option?"

Work with Your Topic: 

  • Topic:
  • Is College the Best Option?
    • Ways to think about this topic:
      • College - synonyms could be "higher education," university education," or "post-secondary education."
      • What do I mean by "best option"?
        • a path to plentiful job opportunities?
        • a path to a high-paying career?
        • a path to jobs that will always be in demand?
        • the path that gives the biggest return on my investment of time, effort, and money?
      • The "best option" for whom?
        • new high school graduates?
        • older career changers?​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
    • How else might I describe my topic?
      • What are alternatives to a four-year college degree?
      • What are careers for people who dislike school work?


Lay out possible searches:

  • college and advantage and disadvantages
  • alternatives to four year college educations

​​​​​​​For example:

Downloadable Search Strategy PDF Worksheet for Students