Unit 1 Activity 3 - Developing a successful search strategy

Developing a successful search strategy is kind of like being a detective.  One of my favorite search experiences required not only using Proquest, a subscription online journal resource provided by the SD State Library, but also Google and Wikipedia.  I was searching for the history of drafting (aka computer aided drawing). In Proquest when one looks up the history of drafting, you get results on military drafting and car racing but nothing relevant on the topic at hand.  Since this was not a topic I was familiar with, I put the term into Google to see if I could skim those results to get some other search terms to try in Proquest.  The Google results had a Wikipedia article on computer aided drawing. Skimming that article revealed that computer aided drawing has roots in mechanical drawing.  A quick search in Proquest for mechanical drawing resulted in the perfect article on the history of mechanical drawing from the 1700’s to now.  Success! But it required thinking like a detective.  I had to think about the best source, the best keywords and skim multiple search results to find better keywords. 

View this video on keyword selection. In addition, read this short post by Richard Byrne, Free Technology for Teachers, on helping students select keywords. Another resource that may be useful are the lesson plans provided by Google Search Education on picking the right search terms, understanding search results, narrowing search results and searching for evidence in results.

For this activity do the following:

Perform a search on Google OR one of the free online databases or subscription library resources you located in Activity 2.  Skim your results and note terms that pop up. Think about how you can revise your search terms to improve the results.  Do a revised search and note how the results change.