USF Search Engine Preliminary

I’m working on a writing question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.

As we begin Project 2, you will be asked to locate, analyze, and incorporate research into your essay. Integral to that process is the first step, locating resources. Although Project 1 asked you to develop a topic, locate preliminary sources, and draft a research proposal, Project 2 requires much more intensive searching for sources.

The USF Library home page is a great place to start, as they have comprehensive journals and databases, alongside helpful guides that will assist you in determining a source’s credibility, timeliness, accuracy, and trustworthiness. The following video will walk you through the basic “how-to’s” when searching from the USF Library home page:

Quick & Easy: USF Tampa Libraries’ Front Page Search – Updated (Links to an external site.)

You’ll notice on the USF Library home page there are options to search for articles, books, databases, e-journals, Google Scholar and more. For this exercise, it is important to not get overwhelmed by the plethora of information that is available to you. A quick, helpful way to do so is by establishing search limiters. Often, the library will generate hundreds of thousands of potential results, which may not facilitate a targeted approach to research. Establishing research limiters like resource type, publication date, subject, and availability will help you narrow down the most pertinent information from general searches.

Introduction to ALMA/PRIMO searching at USF Libraries (Links to an external site.)

For more advanced researching strategies, using specialized databases and/or subject guides will truly help localize any search. Databases are collections of indexed information, meaning they organize scholarly and peer-reviewed research that facilitates a streamlined searching process. A significant advantage of searching within specialized databases is that the databases ensure students will be directed to trustworthy articles that have been fact-checked, reviewed, and even cited by other scholars in their own research.

Why use specialized subject databases? (Links to an external site.)

What is a Database? (Links to an external site.)

After watching these videos, do your own searching on USF Library’s home page and throughout their collection of databases. For this assignment, answer the following questions:

  1. List 3-5 keywords and/or phrases you plan on using when searching, and explain why you believe these will bring you to relevant articles.
  2. After doing a preliminary search from the Library home page, list 3-5 research limiters you used, and explain why you believe each limiter will help you locate pertinent information.
  3. Which databases do you anticipate using throughout the research process? List 3-5 potential databases or subject guides you plan on using, along with an explanation of why each might contain information you can use in your research essay.
  4. From your searches, choose 3-5 sources that are peer-reviewed, and have been published between 2000 – 2021. For reach source, provide the title, the keywords that led you to it, clarify where you go it (general search, book search, database, journal guide), and an explanation of why you believe this source cam help build your research essay.


USF’s Library contains a multitude of Canvas workshops, tutorial videos, and opportunities for in-person or online library instruction. This A-Z Playlist of library research and instruction workshops (Links to an external site.) was created to provide students proper library instruction and to ensure each student can feel confident during the research process, as were each of these YouTube videos (Links to an external site.) uploaded by USF’s Tampa Campus Library. Talk to your instructor if you need additional help finding resources for library tutorials or instruction.

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