DHS Research

Starting Your Research

Using Visual Search Engines Visual Search engines show relationships to other topics, concepts or keywords through linked entries and clustering.  They are a great way to find, narrow or focus a topic!

Background Reading - Preliminary exploration of your topic will provide you with key ideas, terminology, and dates necessary to help you in the narrowing or broadening process.

Identifying Potential Sources

Advanced Searching

Combine the terms you have identified together into a search statement. We can incorporate various searching techniques to help refine the process. Learning the basics of how to search will save you much time and frustration, and these techniques are the same for any research you may be doing, no matter what the topic might be.
Google Advanced Search

Evaluate Sources and Information


Once you obtain the actual text of the article, you will need to determine if the article is worth using in your research. As you read the article, ask yourself:

  • Audience. Who is the intended audience? Is it too specialized or too general?
  • Objectivity. Is the article objective, or is it biased? Is the article based on fact or opinion?
  • Scope. What is the scope of the coverage? Is the article a summary of published works or in-depth reporting of original research? Does it provide any new information? Is the article based on primary or secondary sources?
  • Clarity. Is the article clear? Is it easy to follow and provide conclusions?
  • References. Does the article contain cited references? This demonstrates that the author's conclusions are based on the work of other experts.
  • Supporting documentation. Are there charts, graphs, or other supporting documentation?

Using Information Responsibly, Ethically, and Legally