Creating a Search Strategy
Before conducting your search:
- Consider how your argument might be broken down into keywords or phrases.
- Compile a list of synonyms for those keywords. What other terms might scholars use to talk about your topic, and how do these terms reflect the type of argument scholars are making? (E.g., memory vs. nostalgia) If you are a little confused about the language typically used in an area, check out this bibliographic list from PhilPapers. These headings might be useful for choosing appropriate vocabulary.
- Consider which intersections among your keywords will be useful for searching
Identify disciplines that are relevant to your research question. Also consider the ways in which your question might reside outside traditional disciplines or cut across them.
(See the Search Tips tab for additional information about creating search strategies.)
What to look for in your results:
- Articles that have appeared in peer-reviewed journals or essay collections. These articles will have been vetted by scholars with knowledge of the topic.
- While an article's date of publication is no direct measure of its value, you should make sure that an older article's argument has not been superseded by new research or methodologies before relying on it alone. Recent articles are also useful for their bibliographies, which have up-to-date resources on the same topic.