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Horticulture Research Guide: Home

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Monday through Thursday 

8:00am to 7:00pm


8:00am to 4:30pm

Library Closed
Monday September 4

Tuesday October 10

Wednesday-Friday November 22-24


Starting Your Research

The Research Process

  1. Start with your research question or thesis statement.
  2. Identify key concepts.
  3. Identify keywords related to those concepts.
  4. Choose your search tools.
  5. Test your search.
  6. Revise/refine your search.

HRT 103 Assignment Topics

As you prepare for your reports, try these keywords to search library databasesThe keywords suggested do not include all possible terms. If you find an article you like, read the abstract for more keyword ideas to search. Look at the Finding Articles & More tab for suggested databases for your reports.

The internet can also be a source of authoritative information. Try adding .gov to the end of your keywords to return government sources, like those from the US Department of Agriculture or the FDA (for example: plants food .gov). Look at the Finding Websites tab for more ideas.

Reference books (both in print and online) are a good source for background information on your topic, as well as a place to find a plant to write about. For example, browse the table of contents in a book like Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln's Mother & Other Botanical Atrocities to help you locate a poisonous plant to write about for your report. Search the library catalog using some of the keywords below. You can limit to Held by Library (for print books) or Available Online (for full text eBooks).

In other words, it's best to use a variety of sources for your reports!

Plants Used as Food

Keywords to Try: plants, food, edible plants, edible wild plants, edible native plants, wild food plants, edible plant identification, edible plant harvesting, edible plants AND characteristics

Medicinal Plants

Keywords to Try: medicinal plant genomics, medicinal botany, plants AND disease prevention; plant-based medicines, medicinal plant identification, medicinal plants AND benefits, medicinal plants AND risks, medicinal plants AND characteristics

Poisonous Plants

Keywords to Try: poisonous plants AND characteristics, toxic plants, deadly plants, poisonous plants AND identification, poisonous plants AND pets, poisonous plant AND reactions