Skip to Main Content Albertsons Library Reservations


Finding Information

Because your capstone may need a wide variety of information, it is impossible to provide quick access to everything you might need.  This guide is designed to help you refine your search no matter what information you are trying to find.

Google Like a Librarian

Before you start searching, ask yourself these 4 questions

For example:

What information do I need? What are the demographics of people in the United States who purchased a high-end winter coat in the last five years?

Who would create that information? Retail trade organizations, private companies

What form would that information take? Raw data, market research reports, company reports

Would that information be available? Retail trade organization reports: Maybe, some organizations make these freely available on the web. Market research reports: Unlikely, these are usually very expensive and the library does not have a resource that includes them. Company reports: Maybe, if it is a publicly traded company it is likely available in the Investor Relation section of their website, but may lack detail.

Focus Your Topic

As you develop your topic, ask yourself these questions

What time period do I need to cover?
Last 5 years, Since 2000, Future Projections

What geographic region do I need to include?
International, United States, Pacific Northwest, Boise Metropolitan Area

What population, if any, am I interested in?
Gender, Age, Income Level, Education

Search Terms

Steps to Developing Search Terms

1. Write down your topic
Marketing winter coats

2. Brainstorm related terms, phrases, and topics
Sales, demand, advertising, cold-weather, jackets, snow gear, skiing

3. Try some of your searches in a library database, Google Scholar, or Google
winter AND (jacket OR coat) AND sales

4. Write down any searches you try and make notes about what worked and what didn't
winter > use "cold weather" instead
jacket brings back low-end products
sales works... 

5. Revise your search as needed adding terms you find in successful resources
"cold weather" AND (coat OR outerwear) AND sales

Operators: Tips and Tricks

Retrieves sources with both terms

Retrieves sources with term "x" or term "y" or terms "x and y"

Eliminates an unwanted term

"Quotation Marks"
Searches for terms as a phrase

Searches for variations on a term from the point the wildcard is used (letters before the wildcard do not have to form a real word)

Helps organize complicated searches (just like math)

"Cold weather" AND (coat OR outerwear) AND market* AND NOT ski*