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Ferris Library for Information, Technology, and Education

SCWK 110 (Smith): Introduction


My name is Stacy Anderson, and I am the librarian who works with the students in the Social Work program. I hope this guide helps you learn about the Ferris library and with the research you need to do for SCWK 110. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you need help!



Why Develop a Search Strategy?

Before starting a search, it is helpful to clarify what you are looking for by developing a search strategy. Developing a search strategy is a useful practice for several important reasons.

  • Helps focus your search
  • Gives you something to work with
  • Saves you time in the long run
  • Helps you find larger amount of relevant information


Buliding a Search Strategy 

Think about the focus of your question. Summarize your topic in one or two sentences or questions; try to be as specific as possible.

Identify key concepts. Using your summarization, idenitfy the two or three main concepts.

Use advanced searching options or limiters to narrow your results. If your results list is large, narrow down the results by date, material type, etc.

Build on what you've found. The research process is not linear but cyclical. When you find articles that seem relevant, use the subject headings, or descriptors, and citations from those articles to expand your search. This process will help you re-evaluate your ideas and refocus your search if necessary.

What if you absolutely cannot think of other search terms to describe your topic? Remember you can always email or call me!

Subject Guide

Stacy Anderson's picture
Stacy Anderson