University of Hawaii at Manoa LibraryLibrary CatalogResearch ToolsAsk Us Skip to main content

HWST 491: Senior Capstone: Laying Out The Research Process

This LibGuide was created for students in Kumu April's Fall 2017 HWST 491 Senior Capstone course.

Laying Out The Research Process

  1. Develop your research topic
  2. Come up with keywords
  3. Search in OneSearch
  4. Evaluate your sources

Step 1. Develop your research topic

To develop a research topic...

  • Think about something you're genuinely interested in
    • Example: Lāʻau lapaʻau
  • Ask questions to help make your topic specific: How? Why? What? Who?
    • What lāʻau lapaʻau practices are specific to wāhine?

Step 2. Come up with keywords

  1. What are the main components of your topic?
    1. lāʻau lapaʻau
    2. ​practices
    3. wāhine
  2. Think about synonyms and related terms
    1. medicine, plants (specific), ethnobotany
    2. method, process
    3. kāne, Papa, menstrual cycle / birthing

Step 3. Search in OneSearch

Search strategies:

  • Use keywords to build context into your searches: hala vs. lau hala vs. lauhalavs. ulana lauhala
  • Use quotations to search for phrases:"malama aina" vs.malama aina
  • Use * (or sometimes ! or ?) to truncate searches: hawaii* searches for hawaiihawaiianhawaiians
  • Use filters (e.g. date, type, subject) to narrow search results
  • Re-order results by date, relevance, or title if needed
  • Use Email, Print, Cite tools if needed
  • Log-in to save your searches and save results

Step 4. Evaluate your sources

Things to remember when evaluating resources...

  • Who is the author, publisher, creator?
  • What is the intent of the resource?
  • What works are cited by the resource?  What works cite this resource?