A Research Plan can help you strategize about what are the most successful search terms to use in library databases to find books, articles, government documents, and more for your papers/assignments. Typing in your entire research question or thesis statement does not work well when using these databases to find sources: What usually happens when you do this is that one of two equally bad options: Either 1) you get thousands of hits, many of which are not relevant (and in any case, they are too numerous for you to wade through to find the valuable sources); or 2) you get very few, or zero, hits because your number of search terms overwhelms the database.
Creating a Research Plan can help you avoid these problems.
To get an idea of how this form might look, see the Sample Research Plan in the box to the left below,
To get started creating your own plan, see the Creating a Research Plan box to the right below, which contains a link to a blank Research Plan form for you to print off and fill in as needed, along with instructions on how to use this tool to help you in your research. .
The following sample research plan may help you develop and keep track of search terms that are useful in finding information sources on your topic. (For a blank form, and instructions on how to use it, see the Creating a Research Plan box below.)
Make your search for resources more productive by using the following blank Research Plan worksheet: