Robert S. Swanson Library and Learning CenterTextbooks Archives
In order to decide on a topic to study it is important to browse current books and periodical articles to see what others are researching in areas such as new technologies, packaging materials, recycling, etc. Browse current resources:
Define your research topic or question:
Define terms you don't understand, ex: stretch film
Make up a list of keywords on your topic, breaking the topic into concepts:
(Note: For the best results use similar terms or synonyms)
Combine terms using Boolean Operators (Connectors):
Search Statement Example:
(elastic film or stretch film) and (tensile yield or tensile strength) or (low density polyethylene or LDPE)
Each concept within the parenthesis is searched first (OR operator), then each concept is combined using the AND operator. This is called nesting.
Truncation or Wildcards: Different symbols can replace certain letters in terms. Most databases use * (asterisks) or ? (question marks) for different endings of a term, ex: accident, accidents, accidental. To determine what symbol to use look at the help screens of the index or database you are searching.
Research is based on the investigation of a topic to produce new knowledge and build upon the work of other scholars. Researching a discipline can utilize different methods. Certain methods of research which may be good for one academic discipline, may not be appropriate for another.
For your Packaging assignment you may use the Historical Method or Scientific Method.
The Historical Method uses these techniques:
The Scientific Method utilizes these techniques: