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Frederick E. Berry Library and Learning Commons

Professor Judkins ENL 110 Foundations of Writing

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


  • 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:

Choosing a Scholarly Database for "Is College the Best Option?"

  • Any of the multi-disciplinary scholarly databases listed here will cover this topic.
  • The psychology and social science databases here will also be helpful.
  • Find these databases in the Alphabetical List of Databases on the Library home page.
  • Additionally, within the EBSCO databases, two databases focus on education:
  • The following screen shots various searches in Education Research Complete:
  • Search with key words: college education and worth it

  • Search with key words: academic degrees and return on investment, ROI, cost-benefit analysis