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Art Market Studies


This guide is designed to help you with researching your thesis, qualifying paper, or capstone project and citing your resources properly. If you have any questions on this, please refer to the Let Us Help You tab at the bottom of the menu to the left or click the Ask Us tab to the right. 

Getting Started

If you are not sure how to get started with your project, the information on this page is designed to help you select a successful topic and begin the research process. If you already have your topic and have started your research, you may want to skip ahead to other options on the menu to the left.

Choosing a Research Topic That Works



Developing Keywords & Search Terms

Scrabble tiles spelling the word keywords

Once you have a topic, you will want to start thinking about how to boil it down into usable keywords and how to turn these keywords into successful searches in databases. For any searchable resource the recommended search terms will vary by your topic. 


Here are some tips that can help you to develop and refine your search terms:

  • Consider synonyms (i.e., clothing, clothes, garments, attire, costume). You might even want to refer to a thesaurus to see what synonyms it lists for your search terms.
  • Consider broader and more narrow categories. If you are looking for information about boots, you might want to consider searches for footwear and accessories as well.
  • Look at the suggested search terms in OneSearch, Google Scholar, and databases. Often these resources will provide suggested alternative search terms that can be useful.
  • As you start reading abstracts, articles, or books, write down any terms that you see that might be useful to explore further.
  • Consider alternate forms of your search terms and even alternate spellings. For example, color versus colour. Many tools will include both spellings, but sometimes running the search both ways can be useful.

Save Time By Tracking Your Research

It can be so tempting to believe that bookmarking an article or pasting a URL into a document will be enough to help you trace your research trail a couple of months from now and properly cite your sources before turning in your thesis. Take it from me that, while tempting, this is going to end up being a huge waste of time. It is so important to track your research as you go along, save your sources in a systematic way, and even cite sources as you go along (see the tab labelled Citing Your Sources for more on that). While you are doing your research, 

  • Keep a research log for search terms that worked, places you have looked, and new ideas you want to spend more time on.
  • Use your OneSearch account to your advantage by saving searches and individual items. You can do all of this with ease simply by logging in and using the pin icon wherever you see it.
  • Find and use a citation manager you like. There are several out there, but you might want to check out Zotero, which is free, open source, and explained on our helpful guide to Zotero use.
  • Pay attention to which databases and tools will allow you to automatically generate citations.
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