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Search Hacks

A quick guide for getting the most out of library search tools and academic databases

search hacks typed into a search bar

Ask a Research Question

Determine What Information You Need: What is Your Research Question?

Think of all the questions you might ask to understand your subject. Consider questions that require you to think critically about the topic, or about a specific element or certain angle on your topic. Try filling in this prompt:

I'm studying __________ to investigate __________ in order to understand __________.

Build a Better Research Question

how where why what who when each written on their own sticky note

Ask yourself the 5WH questions about your topic. Our favorites:

  • HOW?
  • WHY?
  • WHAT?

Combine a HOW, a WHY and a WHAT to create one big research question!