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Libs 150 | libs | umgc


Please read the Unit 1 Content before participating in this discussion. It will help you to get acquainted with the UMGC library and other online resources. It will also introduce Boolean searching. One of the shifts we make in LIBS 150 is from searching words to being intentional about the key concepts behind the words. 

This exercise will help you to put what you are learning to work as we get started on our first major assignment, our Search Strategy, due at the end of Unit 2. Download the assignment, choose a research topic from the list provided, and begin working through the first four steps. This discussion gives me a snapshot of your work and allows you to receive feedback and make adjustments to your responses before you submit the assignment for grading. By the time you complete the Week 1 and Week 2 discussions, your Search Strategy assignment will be mostly complete!   

Note that you will not be writing a research paper for this class. Instead we focus on the research process — formulating a Search Strategy in Week 1, searching online and in the Library in Week 2, then evaluating “one good article” in Week 3’s Article Analysis assignment.

Here are the topic we will be choosing from:

  • The effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on higher education
  • The effect of supply chain issues on global commerce
  • The effect of pets on owners’ mental health
  • The effect of telework on the real estate market

If you would like to propose your own topic, contact me to discuss your idea.

Once you’ve downloaded your assignment and started working, please answer the following questions in your discussion post. 

1. What topic did you choose? What key words did you notice as you scoped out your topic? [You are answering Step 1 and Step 2, #2.]

2. A good research question will be open-ended and will narrow the topic in some way. Please share your research question and explain briefly how you developed it. [You are answering Step 2, #3.]

3. What are the key concepts in your research question and what alternative words can you think of for each concept? [You are answering Step 2, # 5 & #7.]

4. Try using simple Boolean logic to create a search statement using your key concepts. If you really want to impress me and your classmates, try an advanced searching technique! (Steps 3 & 4)

5. What do you feel is still unclear to you about creating a search strategy?

Once you have posted, please respond to at least two of your classmates. You will find that some of your classmates will have chosen the same topic as you. What ideas can you share? Offer something concrete — suggestions of where to look, what search terms to use, or ways to narrow/focus their topic.



  1. The topic I chose is “The effect of pets on owners’ mental health”. The key words I noticed were mental health, stress relief, and companionship.
  2. The question I used to begin my search is “Does having a pet benefit a person’s mental health?” I chose to word it like this because it includes the idea from the chosen topic, and opens the search to different opinions on whether having a pet is beneficial to a person’s health.
  3. Key words in my research question were “pet”, “benefit” and “mental health”. I could reword my question to say “Do people who own pets have better mental health?”
  4. pets OR pet ownership AND mental health OR emotional well being
  5. Nothing is unclear yet but I will always ask questions as soon as I get confused so I can gain further clarification.

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