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Information Seeking Compass

Guide to help with your information searching

2. Explore your topic

2 Explore the topic area

Ideate your topic

How many different ways could your topic be described?  Feel free to think, let your thoughts be sprawled! The time for pruning ideas is later.

Find background information on your topic. Benefit reference books, textbooks and library's subject guides.

Mind map

When using mind map to describe your topic, it helps to outline relevant points and perspectives to your topic.

  • Collect keywords describing your topic
  • Also think about the links between keywords
  • Take advantage of mind map tools

Discover key concepts 

Concept maps and different outlines can also be useful when finding out key concepts to your topic. The possible feeling of uncertainty is eased when you read about your topic and recognize key concepts. Reading and outlining also help you to create possible search words. You might also want to discuss your topic and share thougts with others.


Assessment belongs to every stage of the process. This figure reminds of assessment and evaluation in the different situations.

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Evaluate your prior knowledge

How well do you know your topic?

Do you need help to find key concepts? In a quick search online or library database, you can search for definitions of concepts or basic information about your topic.