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FNDS 3402 - Modern Crime: Jack the Ripper

Mardigian Search

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Search for Information in Mardigian Search

These tips are specific for our general Mardigian Search, however, you can apply these same keyword search strategies to anywhere you're doing research. Just remember to think critically about your sources and follow the TRAAP method in the box below.

Keyword Searches

  • Keywords are the important themes and words you're interested in researching
  • Try getting inspiration from tags on your initial search results. These are words or phrases that the author/publisher/editor have determined to be major themes or concepts in the piece. Search algorithms match your initial keyword searches with these tags.
  • Don't use filler words like effect, impact, or connection as these will muck up the search.
  • You may have to look for synonyms or variations to your original keyword search.
    • For example, Prostitute and Sex Worker are often used interchangeably and may bring up different results
      • Serial Killer and Murderer also get across a similar meaning but may have vastly different results when used as keywords

Narrowing Down Results

  • In Mardigian Search (linked above), use Refine Your Search on the left hand side
  • Select Discipline and Subjects that interest you
    • Example of Disciplines: history & archaeology, journalism & communication, sociology & social history, women's studies ...
    • Example of Subjects: crime, criminal investigations, criminal law, criminology, criticism & interpretation, culture, European history, evidence, feminism, history, journalism, killing, London, murder, newspapers, prostitutes, serial crime, sex crimes, sex industry, sex oriented businesses, sex workers, Victorian period ...
  • Select the publication date you find most useful by moving the yellow slide scale

Select Content Type

  • Choose what format you'd prefer
    • Examples: Book Chapter, Book/eBook, Journal Article, Magazine Article, Streaming Video, Web Resources, ...
  • You are required to have "At least two of these sources must come from either books (printed or e-books) or scholarly journal articles (printed or electronic)" in your research papers (Jamie Wraight, FNDS Syllabus Fall 2020).
    • You can find books by selecting Book/eBook and Scholarly Journal Articles by selecting "Scholarly and Peer-Review" and "Journal Articles"

It's a TRAAP!!!

TRAAP is a simple acronym that can be used as a tool for evaluating information and determining if you're heading toward a research trap. Each letter in TRAAP represents a criteria by which to measure the reliability and appropriateness of sources.

Timeliness: The currency of the information 

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has it been updated?
  • Do you need the most current, up-to-date information on your topic?

Relevance: The information meets your assignment needs 

  • Does the source meet your assignment requirements?
  • Does the information directly relate to your topic?
  • Does it help you answer questions?
  • Have you looked at other sources to find the best one?

Authority: The source of the information 

  • Who is the author or publisher?
  • Are they qualified to write about this area?
  • If it's a website, what does the URL say about the source, i.e. .com .edu .gov .org?

Accuracy: The reliability and correctness of the information 

  • Is the information supported by citations or other evidence?
  • Can you verify the information with another source?

Purpose: The reason the information exists

  • What is the purpose of the information? To inform, sell, persuade, or entertain?
  • Is the information given a fact or an opinion?
  • Is the author or publisher biased or unbiased?
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