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ENG 1100 - Stakeholder Report Research Strategies: Home

Recommended research strategies for the stakeholder report assignment.

Time-saving Research Strategies

Starting your research with a strategy in mind can save you from having to look through results that aren't relevant. We recommend reviewing the time-saving strategies suggested here early in your research process.

These strategies will help you find secondary sources to meet the following stakeholder report requirements:

  • Find five appropriate secondary sources to provide context and evidence for your claims in each section
  • Two or three of these five  sources must be academic (scholarly) sources**
  • Two of these sources will help you develop the introductory section
  • Three of these sources will help you develop the stakeholder sections--one source required for each stakeholder

**For more information about academic (scholarly) articles, please visit the link below called Scholarly Articles: What they are, where to find them and how to read them

Plan Ahead

Need Help?

Generate Keywords

Stakeholders, professionals and scholars often use specialized vocabulary or jargon. If you're searching for one term, but the stakeholders use a different term, you may be missing out on some really good results.

A. Before you begin searching, write down the keywords you expect to use, then brainstorm related terms or synonyms and write them down on the worksheet labeled "Generating Keywords" below. Stumped? Use a thesaurus if you need to. 

B. Search with a combination of keywords that came to mind. Pay attention to your results. Are there other terms used in the titles or descriptions of the sources in your results list? Write those down on the "Generating Keywords" worksheet, as well. Try those terms in a new search to find additional resources.

C. Be mindful of bias (intentional or unintentional) in the keywords you use to search.

  • For example: using the keyword success implies that you will find positive outcomes; using the keyword performance implies that you will find a variety of outcomes.

Find Multiple Stakeholder Perspectives

The results you retrieve are parts of an ongoing and unfinished conversation among a variety of stakeholders. Your initial searches may reveal sources from the perspectives of a variety of stakeholders involved in that conversation.

If you notice a specific stakeholder perspective that is missing from your results:

  • adjust your search terms to refine your results
  • conduct separate searches with appropriate search terms for each stakeholder you have in mind
  • Use search terms such as attitude, opinion, perception, perceived or perspective to retrieve sources that include stakeholder perspectives
  • Name a stakeholder or category of stakeholders as one of your keywords. 
    • For example, if you need sources from the perspective of insurance companies for a health-related topic, use terms such as:
      • "health insurance" (see the box labeled "Construct Effective Search Strategies", tip C for details about phrase searching)
      • name a specific insurance company (although your sources don't necessarily need to be about a specific company; sources about insurance companies similar in size and scope would still be relevant)

Construct Effective Search Strategies

A. Use 2-4 keywords. The more keywords you use, the fewer results you retrieve.

B. Search all forms of a root word at once. For example, bank*=bank, banks, banking. Learn more with the Truncation link below.

B. Control your search by combining your keywords with AND, OR, NOT. Learn more with the Boolean Operators link below.

C. Is one of your keywords a phrase? Most databases allow you to specify that adjacent words be searched as phrases.

  • Using quotes around search words is a common way to do phrase searching, but not all databases or search engines use them.
  • Example: "gender inequality"

Broaden or Narrow Search Results

A. Too many results?

  • Use the tools in the left navigation menu in QuickSearch to narrow your search.
    • Use the timeline to limit by date.
    • Use the "filter by format" feature to select which types (academic journals, books, etc.) of sources you need.

B. Too few results?

  • Check for misspellings in your keyword search.
  • Remove quotation marks from your search terms if you used them (see the box labeled "Construct Effective Search Strategies", tip C for details about phrase searching).

Identify Subject Headings

A. Take note of any relevant subject headings. This is one way to discover the vocabulary the stakeholders use to describe sources.

Subject headings are similar to hashtags. They describe the content of each item in a database. Use these headings to find relevant items on the same topic.  Searching by subject headings (a.k.a. descriptors) is the most precise way to search article databases.

How is using subject headings different than keyword searching?

When using keywords

  • use natural language words describing your topic; a good start
  • you have more flexibility and can combine keywords together in many ways
  • many results may be irrelevant

When using subject headings

  • you are using a pre-determined "controlled vocabulary" used by professionals and stakeholders to describe content
  • you have less flexibility; you will need to know the exact controlled vocabulary term
  • your results tend to be more relevant

Subject headings (or subject terms) look like this in your QuickSearch results:

Search result screenshot

B.Click on the title of an article you like. The subject terms become links for you to click and get to all the other articles in the database described with that subject.

Screenshot of Subject Headings as links in QuickSearch

Find Full Text

A. Having trouble finding the full text of the article? Watch the "How to Find Full Text" video, linked below.

If you are still having trouble accessing the full text, you can chat with a Wright State librarian online by clicking on the "Ask a Librarian" link below.

Use QuickSearch to Find Sources

Now that you have some strategies in mind, employ them while finding sources in QuickSearch, an interdisciplinary database featuring a wide variety of resources about a wide variety of topics.