Library Modules for Online COMP: COMP2000

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COMP2000 Library Module

Welcome to the online library training module for COMP 2000, which consists of the following 4 sections:

  1. Razor's Research Bytes
  2. The Research Process
  3. Developing Search Strategies
  4. Quiz

Please review each section within this module before completing the quiz.  To prepare for the quiz, please use this worksheet: 

1. Razor's Research Bytes

Razor's Research Bytes is a series of "bite-size" information about the NSU Libraries, the nature of research, and how to best use library resources.  Review the information in each of the five sections and complete all activities within the series. 

To access Razor's Research Bytes, log into Sharklearn (Blackboard) and click on "NSU Libraries" within your Course List.  Then, click on the link to "Razor's Research Bytes" on the left side of the screen.  (See steps below.)  

  • If you do not see the library's course listed for you, please email the library's Reference Desk ( so you can be added to access Razor's Research Bytes. Please note that it may take 1-2 days to be added.
  • Note: Blackboard may work best when using a desktop or laptop computer instead of a mobile device.

(If you have already completed Razor's Research Bytes in Blackboard for another class, please review it as needed.)

After you complete Razor's Research Bytes, continue on to the next section on this page.

How to Log In to Razor's Research Bytes

Note: Blackboard works best using Firefox, Chrome, or Safari. Please do not use Internet Explorer or a mobile device.

Step 1: Log into SharkLearn (Blackboard)

Step 2: Go to My Courses and select NSU Libraries - Razor's Research Bytes

Step 3: Once in the NSU Libraries' course, select Razor's Research Bytes from the left-hand menu


2. The Research Process

The first step in the research process is to identify your research topic.  If you are having trouble selecting a topic, you may find it useful to browse websites, newspapers, magazines, and books for ideas.  A concept map can be a helpful tool to help identify research topics. Watch the videos below on how to create a concept map and focus your research question:

Creating a Concept Map
Refining Your Research Question

Whether you are asked to select a topic of interest or you have been assigned a topic, you still need to develop your topic by deciding which aspect or perspective to investigate.  Try to find some basic information on your topic.  Based on the quality and quantity of the basic information you locate, you may need to refine your topic.  If the initial search locates too little information, you will need to broaden or expand your topic.  Conversely, if your initial search locates too much information, you will need to focus your topic to make it more specific.  

Once you have focused your research question, determine your keywords by crossing out all of the words that are not unique to your topic. This will leave you with keywords to begin using as your search terms. For example:  

After reviewing this section, complete the first question on your worksheet.  Then, continue on to the Search Strategies section.

3. Developing Search Strategies

 Once you identify your topic keywords, you will also need to identify related keywords and synonyms that you can try using when you search in a database. Remember, databases have limited vocabularies, so you will need to search by using a variety of related keywords in different combinations in order to retrieve the best results for your search.

If you need help thinking of related keywords, some databases, such as ProQuest Central, include a thesaurus for you to use.  Watch this video demonstrating how to use the subject headings and the thesaurus feature in ProQuest database:

After you discover possible search terms, you will need to formulate search strategies using Boolean operators to combine your keywords.

Boolean Operators will allow you to expand and narrow your search.

Do not limit yourself to just using one search strategy. Try searching a variety of related keywords in different combinations with different Boolean operators in order to retrieve the best results for your search. 

Watch the video below to learn how to develop search strategies using the Boolean operators AND, OR, and NOT.

After reviewing this section, complete your worksheet.  Then, continue on to the quiz.

4. Quiz for COMP2000 Library Module

Now that you have completed each section of the module, it's time to submit your quiz to your COMP professor for credit!

To begin the quiz, click on the link below that corresponds to your course/professor. Use your completed worksheet to answer each question on the quiz. When finished, click "submit." (Note: Answers will not save unless the quiz is submitted.  Do not close the quiz window before you submit the quiz.)


Optional Review

If you did not take COMP 1000 or COMP 1500, you may want to review the following sections of those library module for additional information and practice exercises that were not included in this COMP 2000 module but you may find helpful: