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CITB03: Social Planning and Community Development

This guide will help students in CITB03 with finding information on neighbourhoods, demographics, newspaper articles, journal articles, and policy documents for their course assignments.

Recommended eResources

Search tips

Step by Step Searching Infographic

1.  AND:  write 'and' between different words to focus your search


   Example:  Search SARS and globalization and you'll only find articles with all of these terms.


2.  OR:  write 'or' between synonyms to expand your search


Example:  (SARS or "severe acute respitory syndrome")  will find articles with either of these terms.  It's important to include synonyms to ensure you find all articles relevant to your topic. For example, if you typed SARS but the article said severe acute respiratory syndrome, you would miss it if you didn't include the full name of the disease as a synonym.


3.  Truncation *:  Use truncation * to expand your search


   Example:  Globaliz* will find globalize, globalizing, and globalization.  

Use limiters to focus your search.  If you only want to find peer-reviewed articles, click peer-reviewed.  Do you need more recent articles?  Use the date limiter.

Getting started

Use your course readings and lecture notes to brainstorm keywords. 

These are just a few of the many broad terms used in City Studies to help you get started:

  • urban planning
  • regional planning or city planning
  • Urban or Cities
  • Rural
  • Urban policy
  • Health
  • Public health
  • socio-economic
  • political economy 
  • sustainable development
  • sustainable urbanism
  • environmental policy
  • globalization
  • pollution
  • housing
  • public safety
  • community development


Search strategies

Task Why am I doing this? More help

Brainstorm keywords to use in your search. 

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is my topic?
  • What are the key aspects of this topic?
  • What are alternate keywords for each aspect?

Developing an effective search strategy will assist in retrieving better quality results when searching the library catalogue, databases and the internet.

This can be tricky as the same idea can be expressed in many ways. To ensure best results when searching, brainstorm several keywords whenever possible.

Try using:

Boolean operators 

Phrase searching



Choose a relevant journal database to search for scienfitic articles on your topic.  Journal articles provide the most current information and searching a database is a great way of locating articles on a specific topic.

Types of journals

Finding Databases