After you formulate your problem and develop and ask your research question, you need to develop a search strategy to acquire information.
Brainstorm keywords related to your topic.
Identify whether you need primary, secondary, or tertiary sources.
Search existing literature to find current and relevant articles and resources to use as evidence and to answer your research question
Use library sources for full access to research literature!
Sample topic: Is patient education effective in reducing COPD among smokers?
Identify the concepts in your topic:
Use a dictionary, thesaurus, textbook, database or CINAHL Headings to find alternative search terms:
Find some relevant studies and look at the information about those sources, and the references. Identify the Subject Headings the database uses to describe the studies AND the keywords in the abstracts. Add these terms to your PICO terms to expand or narrow your search.
When looking at articles, consider whether the resource helps answer your PICO/Clinical question well enough to write about it. Does it directly address at least one part of your PICO question? Will it contribute to your main argument?
Truncate words to increase your search results
Proximity searching decreases your search results
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