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Library Services for Research

An overview of the services available via City's Libraries for Masters students, PhD students, postdoctoral and academic staff.

Structuring Your Search

Once you have determined your research topic and have come up with relevant search terms, you can start performing a literature search.

Your search should include all the terms which can be used for each concept of your topic e.g.

First concept:  student experiences or student perceptions or student opinions etc.

Second concept: learning support or training or workshops or tutorials etc.

Third concept: essay writing or study skills or information literacy or revising or exam techniques etc.

Fourth concept Universities or Higher Education etc.

 

How you enter your search terms will depend on the resource you are using, as they can have different search options.

 

Some resources will only give you one line in which to enter your search. In this case, when entering your search terms, you should surround related terms for each concept in brackets i.e.

(student experiences or student perceptions or student opinions) and (learning support or training or workshops or tutorials) and (essay writing or study skills or information literacy or revising or exam techniques) and (Universities or Higher Education)

This will find results where at least one search term from each section is included within a study.

# Whilst the use of brackets works in most resources it may not work in every resource you use.

 

Some resources will allow you to add and combine as many search lines as you need i.e.

 

 

Other resources may provide a Search History. This allows you to perform a separate search for each concept of your topic. Each of these searches will be added to the Search History.

The main benefit of using a Search History is that it gives you more control over your search, in that it allows you to perform different combinations of searches. For example, if you don't find many results combining all of your searches you can exclude one of the searches to obtain more results.