Once the outlines and framework of your assignment are clear, explore the possibilities of your subject. Do a broad search for information on your subject, guided by the information you find. During this exploratory search phase, you will gain an increasingly clear picture of your subject. This will help you to narrow down your subject and eventually formulate specific search questions.
To orient yourself on your subject you can:
- Use a search engine
- Consult an encyclopaedia
- Read textbooks and introductory books
- Use subject guides or portals
- Read news articles for trends and current events
- Use hyperlinks to view related websites
- Use the Snowball method or Citation search to view related documents ▪ Consult experts
During the orientation phase, you often come across specialist terminology.This can also help you find good search terms. Make a note of these terms. (See 2. Search terms). In addition, you will often find literature references that can help you find new sources. Write these down as well.