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Economics Guide: Search Strategies

This research guide shows the best sources of information in economics.

Brainstormng topics

In order to make the best use of your time and retrieve the best information, think about your topic before you start to search .  It doesn't take a lot of time and you will find it helps. 

 Try to state the topic as a question.  First think about what you want to learn.  For instance:  "What is the impact of the minimum wage despute on the economy" 

The following "five W's" may help you.  For each question below, write down ideas about your topic.   Circle or highlight the names, terms and ideas that interest you the most. Turn this into a list of terms or "keywords."  Keep this list for developing your search strategy.  Some searches may not require every category.

WHO - Who is affected by your topic?  Think outside the focus of your topic: the people who are impacted in other ways.  For instance, who is affected by the Federal Reserve? 

WHAT - What is caused or affected by your topic?  In the topic listed, impacts might include wages.

WHEN - Are you interested in specific time-period?  This can help you narrow your search.

WHERE- Are you only interested in the United States, a particular state? 

WHY - Why is this topic important?  Why should your reader care?

Organizing Terms into Concepts

Search Term Worksheet

Often there is more than one word to describe your search concept.  Thinking of alternatives can give you more options when using the article databases.  Use the worksheet below to explore those options.

Research topic: Impact of minimum wage on the economy


Concept 1


Concept 2


Concept 3


 mininum wage





  living wage





 base  pay




 consumer confidence
































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