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Formulate a Statement, Question or Information Request

When starting research for information or resources, it is crucial to develop a simple and straightforward question or statement. Before conducting an Internet search, identify key words that relate to the query. First, formulate a simple statement, question, or series of questions about what you want to find. Second, identify some key words related to your statement or question that will focus it even further.

For example, suppose the initial question is, “How do I set up a non-emergency medical transportation company?” Some key words or topic search terms are NEMT (the acronym for this type of service), Medicaid (the funding source for most NEMT providers), and other elements of the planned service, such as the vehicle type (ex: van), type of service (demand-response), or features (wheelchair-accessible).  Be aware that typing two slightly different queries (search words or phrases) into a search engine may bring up very different results. 


The following are images captured from a Google search for “Non-Emergency Medical Transportation,”


and “NEMT.”


Always be aware that there is more than one way to say something, and that using a different word or phrase may yield better results. 

Tip: Remember the 5 W’s: Who, what, why, where, and when. 

Who did any initial information come from? 
Who could be asked for more information? 
What is the essence of the question? 
What type of answer is expected? 
Why are you looking for this information?
Where would it make sense to start the search?  
Where was the information in print? 
When was this information likely to be published or stated? 
When was the information that may have sparked the question mentioned?