Skip to main content

Library Research for CECAS Students: Plan

Choose Your Topic

The best way to get started on a great paper is to have a great topic!  Spend some time choosing a topic that interests you, with lots of published information.  Need help?  Seek out a librarian!

Search Basics for Print or eBooks

Start with a Simple Keyword Search

  • Connect related terms with the word or to get more results

(measure or metric)

  • Use an asterisk * to find varied word endings:  

simulat* finds simulate, simulates, simulation, etc.

  • Use quotation marks to keep phrases together:

"human performance"

  • Look at full records to discover standard search terms:


Performance Standards



Keyword Search Tips

Keyword searching (generally) is best for finding articles on a topic

If you get too many, try limiting to a particular subject - see the list of subject links on the side of the screen. 

Use the same tricks that find books in the catalog:

  • connect synonyms with the word or to get more

 (sports or athletics)

  • combine keywords or phrases with the word and to limit and focus your results:

athlete and endurance

  • put quotes around phrases "performance evaluation"
  • truncate terms to get all possible endings

simul*  (finds simulate, simulates, simulation, etc.)

Put it all together:

"performance evaluation" and (sports or athletics) and simulat*

  • if your first search isn't great, revise it until it is!

Engineering Librarian

Jan Comfort's picture
Jan Comfort
Cooper Library, Room 304