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Milne Library SUNY Geneseo Subject Guides


INTD 105: Hemingway (Professor Syfrett): Library Session 10/31/2019

Tips for developing a Thesis Statement or Research Question

  • If your areas of interest are broad, let the sources guide you to a topic.
  • Pick a topic or question that personally interests you (i.e. something you want to know more about.
  • Connect your topic or question to other areas of knowledge you possess.
  • Don't be afraid to change your topic as your research progresses
  • Use your research topic or question as a source of keywords for searching in databases.

How to use keywords

When you are searching in a database, remember that these resources think differently from you. You need to use special terms to get the database to give you good information.

If you want to connect two concepts, use the word AND. That will give you a list of articles that contain both the concepts you connect.

If you want to look for multiple independent concepts, use the word OR. That will take each word you connect and give you a list of articles that contains either or both concepts.

Some databases also use NOT to exclude information. If you use NOT, the list of articles should remove all articles with the word after NOT.

Database to use for the class

Article Comparisons

Which article is the scholarly article?
Laboratory Rodent Diets: 7 votes (87.5%)
Roundup Hysteria: 1 votes (12.5%)
Total Votes: 8
Is the Laboratory Rodent Diets article a credible source?
Yes: 6 votes (85.71%)
No: 1 votes (14.29%)
Total Votes: 7
Is the Roundup Hysteria article a credible source?
Yes: 1 votes (12.5%)
No: 7 votes (87.5%)
Total Votes: 8

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Alan Witt
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