Why is this important?
Part of creating a successful search strategy means having strong keywords and search terms.
Creating keywords and search terms will help you get better quality results in a shorter period of time.
If you are working with developing a research question or thesis statement, use your question to find your search terms by identifying a few of the most important concepts.
1. QUESTION: What was the impact of The Great Depression on government policies in the 1930's and 1940's?
> Your search might look like this: Great Depression AND "government policies" AND 1930-1940
2. QUESTION: In what ways can cyberbullies be effectively prosecuted?
> Your search might look like this: Cyberbull* AND prosecut* OR law*
3. QUESTION: What are the current advantages and disadvantages of religious influence on education in the United States?
> Your search might look like this: Relig* AND education AND United States AND impact OR influenc*
4. STATEMENT: There are multiple impacts of student debt on young adults in the United States.
> Your search might look like this: Student debt OR College debt AND "young adults" AND United States OR USA
If you are not getting good results, or too many results, try adding one of these terms with your keywords:
Example: "Gender bias" AND viewpoints
AND/ OR / NOT
Using the words AND,OR, NOT between keywords will make a more complex and targeted search.
Using these words connects important concepts in your search to make it more accurate and efficient.
The following are some examples:
Here is a visual example as a Venn diagram:
QUOTATIONS MAKE A PHRASE
For example: "factory farms", "industrial waste", "young adults", "service animals", "social media"
You can use this worksheet, or something like it, to organize your terms. (see the PDF link below)
Search Term Worksheet PDF