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Tarleton State University Libraries Unit 4
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In order to efficiently and effectively find materials, researchers need to understand how to
•  identify terms to use in searches,
•  formulate and modify searches, and
•  use the features of search tools.

This unit will help you understand these processes so the time you spend looking for research materials is productive and yields useful materials.

The components of this unit discuss and illustrate how to

•  identify key concepts and determine search terms,
•  find and use controlled vocabulary terms,
•  determine alternative search terms,
•  modify (refine) searches,
•  use advanced options to limit searches, and
•  locate search assistance (print and online).
The last parts of this unit offer activities related to Unit 4 topics and a review.

After completing this unit, you should have strategies by which you can
•  evaluate information needs to determine key concepts and possible search terms,
•  locate alternative search terms to use in specific search tools,
•  modify (refine) searches to enhance their effectiveness,
•  obtain search assistance as needed, and
•  create and use effective search strategies.

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Updated 7/2004