Search and writing assistance

Students with computers in the library.Here you can find information which is particularly useful for students who want general support with their academic studies. On the library website there is more information about other services and support offered by the library.

Get started

Finding relevant scholarly texts for your essays and similar assignments can sometimes be difficult. Learn more about how to get started and get some useful advice along the way.

Preparations

Start out by identifying what type of texts you will need. If it's research, namely scholarly texts, you seek, you may need to repeat what characterizes scholarly articles and other types of texts. Also, consider how much material is needed - would a few texts be enough or do you need to do a more extensive search? The instructions for the essay or assignment should be helpful in this matter.

Mind map

A mind map with search words is an effective way to get started. Write down the question or subject area you want to study in a sentence or two. Identify a few key words that describe the question or subject. Find synonyms and similar words - both broad and more specific words. Translate the words into English or other relevant languages. Add new words to the mind map as you keep searching.

What do you already know?

Go through the literature and assignments from previous courses and add potentially interesting research, theories and literature to your mind map. Your teachers, tutors and fellow students may also be able to give you tips on literature, key journals or other search terms. Previous essays from other students can give you an overview and inspiration.

Common search methods

  • With the help of your mind map, you can now make a chain search. Use the bibliography in a book or article to find the next interesting text. One reference leads to another, like a chain.
  • Using the mind map, you can also do a more unbiased keyword search. This means a more systematic approach where you try different words and combinations in relevant search tools.
  • One option is to search in a scholarly e-journal. Search for the e-journal in SöderScholar, browse through old issues or do a keyword search in the search box for the journal.
  • A citation search is another method. If you search for a scholarly article in SöderScholar, you can click on "Times Cited" to get a list of other texts that refer to the article.

The information search process

If you are facing an extensive search, for example in connection with essay writing, you should be aware that searching for information is a process that takes time. You will need to test various search terms and combinations, and use several different search tools and search methods before you find enough relevant texts. The more you read and learn about the subject, the better you can search and select sources!