Information Literacy Interactive Tutorial

Formulating a search question

In the course of your everyday work, you will sometimes need to find more information about a particular subject or condition - either for yourself or a service user - in order to solve a problem and/or become more knowledgeable on a topic.

Given a particular scenario, a very focused search question will make it much easier to find the information you need.

What to consider:

  • What is the issue you are interested in and who does it affect?
  • What are the outcomes you are interested in achieving? For example, are you looking for practical or theoretical information/historical or current information.

Example scenario

You are working with a 9-year old boy with autism. Over the last few months he has been having trouble sleeping which is making his behaviour increasingly challenging and his parents are struggling to cope.

In this case, the issues you will be interested in are autism, sleep disturbance and parental coping skills.

Possible search questions:

  • What treatments are available for sleep disturbance in children with autism?
  • What support services are available for parents of children with autism?

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