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Identifying information gaps

How to Search: Identifying Your Information Need

Searching is a creative process where you explore a variety of resources to find the relevant information you need. Sometimes you will find more information than you want or need. Knowing how to focus your search can reduce what you find to a more manageable amount. Or your search might uncover no information at all. Try different approaches to find what you need and then ask for help at

How do you know when you have enough information?

Before you start your research, you should be aware of the amount and the nature of the information you require. Are you expected to write a paper that presents the breadth of scholarship in a particular subject area or do you simply need a few professional sources to support your arguments? If you are not sure, check with your instructor.

If you are working on your graduating project, knowing how much information is enough can be difficult to answer. It is easy to get bogged down in the search for literature. Once you see duplications, patterns, and connections in a subject area that you are researching, you probably have enough on that topic. Consult with your graduating project supervisor to be sure.