Students will conclude their search when they have retrieved sufficient quality information that meets their needs.
At this point, you've learned about planning, executing, and adjusting a search in English 101. You've learned how to evaluate the sources you find in English 102. But how do you know when you're done?
The good news is, you already have everything you need to help you make that decision. Click through the tabs in this box to reflect on the search process and how you can use the work you've already done to determine when you have enough quality results.
In ENGL 101 Objective 2: Choosing Source Types and Tools, you made a plan for what kinds of sources would best meet your needs. Need a review? Rewatch the video.
In ENGL 101 Objectives 3 & 4: Searching, you created searches customized based on the resource type you were searching.
Need a refresher? Revisit the libguide page and explore the text and videos.
You might be tempted to choose the first few results you see and call it a day. But adjusting your search can help you find the best sources, rather than the most convenient ones.
In ENGL 101 Objectives 5 & 6: Refining Searches, you learned how to refine searches, and how to respond to search results with too many, too few, or irrelevant results. Use these techniques to adjust your search and make sure you're not missing anything.
Need a review? You can re-watch the video on adjusting searches.
Still stuck? Talk to a librarian.
It's time to evaluate the sources. Use lateral reading (Objective 4: Fact-checking) to make sure the information is valid. Consider algorithms (Objective 2: Spotting Algorithms) and stakeholders (Objective 3: Evaluating Stakeholders) to decide how those factors may have impacted the information you're looking at.
Finally, think back to objective 2 (the Plan section of this process). Do the results you've found match what you were looking for?
So, how do you know when you're done? When you've refined your search to get a good batch of results, the sources you're finding match what you set out to look for, you've used lateral reading to ensure nothing is unreliable or misinformation, and you've considered the impact of algorithms and stakeholders, casting a wide net to minimize any biases present.
It's a little more work than choosing the first three results from Google, but you'll be impressed by how much better your final results will be.