How to write a research paper:
Step 2: Searching the literature
The next step is gathering information. It helps to choose specific key words that directly relate to your topic. These are the words you will use to search for in Google Scholar or whichever search engine/database you plan to use. The IIT library website provides access to numerous databases in various subjects. If you are unsure about which database is right for your research question, talk to your professor/instructor, a librarian, or one of the tutors at the ARC (they may have prior experience). Choose keywords directly from your research question. Many search engines allow you to search multiple words at once. For instance, if my question was, what is the difference between depressive symptoms in Eastern versus Western cultures?, I may choose to enter, "depression," and "Eastern culture." Entering "depression" by itself would provide too many results. Specificity is key; however, being too specific may not provide you with enough information. For example, entering a specific symptom of depression would not be the best route. Also, it does not hurt to enter different combinations of keywords to ensure you have covered the entire area of research. More to come next week!